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"Deploying his characteristic precision, eloquence, nuance, and wit, Peter Brooks has produced not only a brilliant book about the relationship between history and culture but an oddly prescient and timely map for how contemporary writers might respond--with a useful and intelligently political art--following America's own 'terrible year.'"—David Shields
"Challenging and judicious, wide-ranging yet consistently focused, Flaubert in the Ruins of Paris is a delight to read. In full control of literary and political history, Peter Brooks makes an unimpeachable case for the importance of Flaubert's Sentimental Education as a prophetic historical novel, and in the process corrects and redeems the conventional image of Flaubert as a political reactionary and aloof resident in an ivory tower."—Victor Brombert, Henry Putnam University Professor at Princeton University and author of Trains of Thought
"From one of our finest literary critics, Flaubert in the Ruins of Paris reminds us of the power of great novels in dark times. This story about the entangled relationships of friends, fiction, history, and politics couldn't be more timely, and nobody tells it better than Peter Brooks."—Maya Jasanoff, Coolidge Professor of History, Harvard University