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In the Midwestern city of Zenith, the middle-aged estate agent George F. Babbitt appears to have achieved the American dream to its fullest: he is successful at work, comfortably off, exceedingly well fed, has a wife and children, a motor car and a neat house with a neat yard, and is a proud member of all the right clubs – in short, he lacks nothing to be happy. Or does he? As we follow his humdrum daily routine and startling events begin to unfold around him, we discover that all is not well in Babbitt's world: his moral foundations are shaking, and he can't help harbouring rebellious dreams of escape and romance.
A trenchant satire on consumeristic society and an indictment of the fatuous ideals of middle America in the Roaring Twenties, Babbitt – the crowning achievement of Sinclair Lewis, winner of the 1930 Nobel Prize in Literature – questions the attractions of materialistic fulfilment, at the same time laying bare the hollowness of social respectability and blind conformism.