Adventures of a Young Man Summary
John Dos Passos

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Adventures of a Young Man Summary

In addition to its primary critique of radicalism and its failures, Adventures of a Young Man treats the themes of disillusionment, the family unit, and love. None of these is new for the writer, but he treats each in a fresh and illuminating way.

The novel chronicles Glenn's disillusionment with American culture, then with various Communist movements. He finds the society repressive, and his brief career in banking confirms his fear that the dominant culture is totally indifferent to the suffering of the poor. Having flirted with radical ideas in college under the influence of Columbia economist Mike Gulick (who appears as a very successful establishment liberal in The Grand Design), he throws himself into the movement wholeheartedly, expressing both a profound psychological need to do something worthwhile with his life and a hope to contribute to the well-being of the oppressed, but he consistently learns that the organized...

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