With a generous 6"x9 page size, this Summit Classic edition is printed on hefty bright white paper with a fully laminated cover featuring an original full color design. Page headers and modern design and page layout exemplify the attention to detail given this volume. Often identified as a novel about World War I, in fact the war merely provides the background for this tale of three young men coming to grips with society, how they perceive their place in society, and how they believe society perceives them in the context of their experiences in the war-time army in France. The novel follows three common soldiers. Dan Fuselli is a 19 year old from San Francisco who enlists in order to appear brave and patriotic to his friends. He proves to be neither in reality. Chris Chrisfield, 20, is from a small town in Indiana and enlists because small businessmen in his town would risk being shunned by the locals if they had not served in the war. John Andrews, 22, is a pianist and composer from New York City. The most thoughtful and intelligent of the three, his is perhaps the most interesting story, as he also is gradually revealed to be anything but what he sees himself, and trys to portray himself, as being. John Dos Passos (1896-1970) was the well-educated illegitimate son of a prominent attorney of Portuguese descent. After graduating from Harvard in 1916 he traveled to Spain to study architecture and art, eventually serving as an ambulance driver and medical corpsman in the war. In Paris when the war ended, he was permitted by the Army Overseas Education Commission to study anthropology at the Sorbonne. He published his first novel, "One Man's Initiation," in 1917. The anti-war "Three Soldiers" followed, bringing Dos Passos considerable recognition. Generally considered one of the "Lost Generation" writers, "Three Soldiers" was a seminal work in the "realist" genre of war fiction. Beginning in the 1920's Dos Passos became a supporter of communism, even spending part of 1928 in Russia. But by the time he revisited Spain during the Spanish Civil War and witnessed the brutality of the communists and their "secret police" methodologies, he became a harsh critic of communism. In the third volume of his "USA Triliogy" he created an idealistic young communist who is worn down and ultimately destroyed by the monolithic groupthink of socialism. Dos Passos' political views informed his works, leading to a decline in his popularity as Europe embraced varying degrees of socialism while Dos Passos became increasingly critical of the left. Undeterred, his intellectual evolution continued and by the 1960's Dos Passos had become a fierce advocate of individualism and civil liberty, and the one-time young communist was alternately identified as a conservative or a libertarian. Dos Passos continued writing in his declining years, and was increasingly recognized as a major figure of American letters and one of the most influential writers of his generation. His introduction of realism and "stream of consciousness" narrative continue to influence writers today.