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John Dos Passos galley proof of The Great Days


Held at: University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts [Contact Us]3420 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6206

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

John Dos Passos was an American novelist and artist born in Chicago, Illinois on January 14, 1896. He graduated from Harvard University in 1916; and in 1917, joined the Norton-Harjes Ambulance Corps (which was absorbed into the United States Medical Corps) with several of his college friends including E.E. Cummings and Robert Hillyer. His World War I service in France and Italy profoundly affected him and his first two novels were "both direct responses to his experiences in Europe ... plugged full of antiestablishment rhetoric and paeans to individualism," (Howsare). Over the next years, Dos Passos developed a decidedly "dim view of capitalism and sympathy for workers' movements and socialism," (Howsare). He visited the Soviet Union in 1928 and in 1935, Dos Passos participated in the First American Writers Congress which was sponsored by the Communist-leaning League of American Writers. According to the Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Dos Passos "was in Spain in 1937 during the Spanish Civil War, when the murder of his friend José Robles soured his attitude toward communism," resulting in his shift to an anti-fascist and anti-communism platform.

Dos Passos is best known for his U.S.A. trilogy, consisting of The 42nd Parallel, 1919, and The Big Money; however he was the author of more than forty works. He died in Baltimore, Maryland on September 28, 1970.

Dos Passos wrote The Great Days in 1958. According to a description of the book, The Great Days is a semi-autobiographical novel in which the American, Roland Lancaster has an affair with a younger woman, Elsa, in Cuba during World War II. The love story parallels aspects of the author's life with his first wife, Katy. This novel also plots America's rise to global prominence during World War II and its alleged abuse of that power in brokering the peace.

Works cited:

Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library. Beinecke Digital Collections. John Dos Passos. (accessed May 24, 2017)

Howsare, E. "John Dos Passos (1896-1979)." Encyclopedia Virginia. Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, 2 June 2014. (accessed May 24, 2017)

John Dos Passos. (accessed May 24, 2017)

This collection consists of the galley proof of The Great Days by John Dos Passos. This proof specifically dates to March 1958. It is bound together with string tied through the upper left side of the proof and has a cover of faded blue paper with the title and publisher (Sagamore Press Inc., Publishers) pasted on. The galley proof is very lightly annontated in ink, however, the annotations are usually only underlinings or circles and contain no substantive comments.

University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts
Finding Aid Author
Kelin Baldridge
Finding Aid Date
2017 May 24
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Copyright restrictions may exist. For most library holdings, the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania do not hold copyright. It is the responsibility of the requester to seek permission from the holder of the copyright to reproduce material from the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts.

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Galley proof, 1958 March.
Box 1 Folder 1

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