John Dos Passos: Number One (1817 words)


While writing Adventures of a Young Man (1939) John Dos Passos decided to organize each of his District of Columbia novels around the life of a member of the Spotswood family. The idealistic, radical Glenn’s story anchored the first narrative; Number One (1943) follows Glenn’s older, cynical, alcoholic brother Tyler. Although the immediate sales and reviews were promising, Number One fell quickly out of favor with readers and critics, and is generally regarded among scholars as the weakest book in the D.C. trilogy. One reason for this is that it’s obviously based on the career of Huey P. Long (1893-1935), and it’s anything but nuanced. Sinclair Lewis had written It Can’t Happen Here (1935), a …

Citation: Dougherty, David C.. "Number One". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 17 July 2015 [, accessed 25 June 2021.]

Save this article

If you need to create a new bookshelf to save this article in, please make sure that you are logged in, then go to your 'Account' here