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The Great Gatsby: as Hollywood never imagined it

May 9, 2013

After much anticipation Hollywood finally releases its version of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic novel, The Great Gatsby.

Was Gatsby a crook? Or was he a victim of a crooked game, the American Dream as a broken promise?

In this program originally aired on CBC radio last August, Sarah Churchwell of the University of East Anglia, a professor of American literature and author of Careless People, interprets Fitzgerald as saying the American Dream is a lie.

But listen also for my reading of a few passages to appreciate, tongue-in-cheek, why the underlying economics suggest that The Great Gatsby is indeed a novel for our times.

If you want the movie version, and a detailed discussion of The Great Gatsby Curve, here is a lecture I had the honour to give earlier this year at the University of Lethbridge on the invitation of the Prentice Institute and its Director Susan McDaniel.

I have to admit, however, the Hollywood version looks somewhat more exciting!

  1. Larry Gemmel permalink

    Thanks, Miles. By the way, your work on The Great Gatsby Curve was mentioned several times last evening in the Macdonald-Laurier Institute’s great debate on whether wealth has too much power in Canada. The audience was pretty firmly in agreement with Armine Yalnizyan and unswayed by Bill Watson’s arguments.

    ***** Larry Gemmel 451 chemin Sauvé Val-des-Monts QC J8N 5A6 Bus 819-671-0207 Res 819-671-0210


    • Thanks Larry. It sounds like it must have been a very interesting talk. Do you know if they put these up on the web?

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Income Inequality (29): The “Get Off the Couch” Solution | P.a.p.-Blog // Human Rights Etc.
  2. How The Great Gatsby Curve got its name | Economics for public policy

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