Say "America" and certain adjectives come readily to mind. Because of the nation's wealth, energy, and global presence during the twentieth century, almost everyone has a view of America. This introduction to American literature and culture addresses four common conceptions of the United States: that it is "big," "rich," "new," and "free." Designed to illustrate the artistic and social climate in the USA from 1900 to 1960, the book discusses a range of artistic and cultural productions from the period that reinforce, revise, dispute, or deny these commonly held views of the country. Each of the book's four sections begins with a series of quotations from literary and other sources of the period, selected to emphasize a range of ideas about America. Within each section, history, popular culture, literature, and other art forms are then juxtaposed in a way that fosters discussion, questioning, and continued study. An appendix to the volume includes a list of primary works for further reading and a selective bibliography of secondary works on American literature and culture, including relevant websites. The book also features a timeline of the chief events - political, social, and artistic.