The Politics of The Great Gatsby: How to Read Fitzgerald’s Novel like a Political Scientist

Saladin Ambar (Eagleton Institute of Politics)

The Great Gatsby, nearly 95 years old, remains one of the greatest of American novels. Part of what makes it so compelling is that it is a wonderful repository of American political thought – thought reflected in the history, language, and rich characters found in Fitzgerald’s unforgettable book. This seminar will engage in a close reading of The Great Gatsby through the lens of American political history and with unapologetic awareness of the politics of the present moment. In addition to the novel, we will read short essays and related pieces to Gatsby, taking into account critical themes such as class, gender, race, and sexuality. Students will be asked to reflect upon what makes the novel so enduring – and how it speaks to the state of our politics today.

Course Number: 
01:090:101 section 20 index 07819