Ned Stuckey-French’s remarkable book The American Essay in the American Century chronicles the fall and rise of the genre from 1820, with the success of Washington Irving’s essay collection The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent., to 1944, when E. B. White’s second edition of One Man’s Meat was temporarily banned from the reading materials sent to overseas soldiers, on the grounds that its liberalism would sway military personnel to elect Franklin D. Roosevelt to a fourth term. Stuckey-French recreates this story through exacting, extensive, and much needed historical research and analysis. …The American Essay in the American Century shows us how much we stand to gain as readers of essays when we take them seriously enough to investigate their histories.
—Nicole B. Wallack, Fourth Genre: Explorations in Creative Nonfiction
You can purchase and read the full review on Fourth Genre‘s website.