John Dos Passos' Correspondence With Arthur K. McComb or "Learn to Sing the Carmagnole"
"In his introduction, Melvin Landsberg notes the wide political gulf between Dos Passos and his lifelong friend Arthur K. McComb. Early on they articulated their identities in relation to each other: Dos Passos was the romantic radical, McComb the 'eighteenth century' elitist. What the two shared was a despair of the modern world; McComb writes for them both saying, 'What an age! All reason, sanity, light, humanity gone!' Landsberg reports that each often regarded the other as needful of political guidance, and 'there was mutual teasing in the correspondence . . . and certain subjects were touched on lightly.' 'Lightly' indeed; those seeking lengthy discourses on American society, literature, history, or politics from Dos Passos should look elsewhere. Instead, this book is valuable for recording—in sketch form—how Dos Passos wrestled with the two great ideas that polarize his writings: organization and the noble individual." -Project Muse