Behold, America by Sarah Churchwell is Hay Festival Book of the Month for Novemer, continuing the Festival's campaign to celebrate and ignite conversation around current and backlist books that have particular contemporary resonance.
"The American dream is dead," Donald Trump said when announcing his candidacy for president in 2015. How would he revive it? By putting "America First". These two loaded phrases - ''The American Dream' and 'America First' - come under Churchwell's razor sharp focus in Behold, America as she looks to the past to reveal what the surprising history of these two phrases can tell us about today.
Churchwell is Professor of American Literature and Chair of Public Understanding of the Humanities at the School of Advanced Study, University of London. She is the author of Careless People: Murder, Mayhem and The Invention of The Great Gatsby and The Many Lives of Marilyn Monroe. Her literary journalism has appeared widely in newspapers including the Guardian, New Statesman, Financial Times, Times Literary Supplement and New York Times Book Review, and she comments regularly on arts, culture, and politics for television and radio, where appearances include Question Time, Newsnightand The Review Show. She has judged many literary prizes, including the 2017 Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-Fiction, the 2014 Man Booker Prize for Fiction, and she was a co-winner of the 2015 Eccles British Library Writer's Award.
Hay Festival’s Book of the Month is selected by the festival team in Hay-on-Wye, based on public recommendations, and aims to revisit and re-celebrate great works of fiction, non-fiction and poetry that reach through time to touch the present.
Titles are sold in the UK through the festival’s online shop, as well as being available in all good libraries and bookshops, with a digital festival of promotion online, including curated streams on the festival’s Hay Player archive.
Find out more about Hay Festival’s Book of the Month here or explore #HayBookOfTheMonth on social.