Escapism sold books, to be sure, but not nearly as many as were sold by exposing America’s flaws and making the average American reader (and book club member) look closely at his or her most cherished social assumptions. Americans might not be eager to accept integration, feminism, homosexuality, juvenile delinquency, and the drug culture- or to shoulder the blame for the existence of these problems- but they were certainly willing to read about them.

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