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Being Polite to Hitler: Book summary and reviews of Being Polite to Hitler by Robb Forman Dew

Being Polite to Hitler

A Novel

by Robb Forman Dew

Being Polite to Hitler by Robb Forman Dew X
Being Polite to Hitler by Robb Forman Dew
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  • Published Jan 2011
    304 pages
    Genre: Literary Fiction

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Book Summary

After teaching and raising her family for most of her life, Agnes Scofield realizes that she is truly weary of the routine her life has become. But how, at 51, can she establish an identity apart from what has so long defined her?

Often eloquent, sometimes blunt, and always full of fire, The Scofield clan is not a family that keeps its opinions to itself. As much as she'd like to, Agnes can no more deflect their adamant advice than she can step down as their matriarch. And despite her newfound freedom, Agnes finds herself becoming even more entangled in the family web. She shepherds her daughter-in-law, Lavinia, who moves in with her own two daughters to escape her husband's drinking. She puts out fires, smoothes fraying nerves, and, stunned as anyone, receives a marriage proposal. Having expected her life to become smaller, Agnes is amazed to see it grow instead.

Robb Forman Dew intricately weaves together personal and family life into a richly wrought tapestry of the country in the 1950s and beyond. Being Polite to Hitler is a moving, frank, and surprising portrait of post-World War II America.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Dew's latest is an impressionistic portrait of a family and an age striving for clarity and understanding." - Publishers Weekly

"[Dew] uses her signature elegant and often delightfully funny style to move seamlessly back and forth between the macro- and microcosm of the new America." - Library Journal

"This is a calm, gentle read for those who already know and care about the Scofield clan and a detail-rich slice of life for those interested in midcentury Americana." - Booklist

"The fictional characters, so vivid in The Evidence Against Her (2001), have paled as they have aged, and even the passions of the younger generation are too muted to engage the reader." - Kirkus

This information about Being Polite to Hitler was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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Author Information

Robb Forman Dew

Robb Forman Dew was born in Mount Vernon, Ohio, and grew up in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. For the past thirty years she has lived in Williamstown, MA, where she lives with her husband, who is professor of history at Williams College. The recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, Dew is the author of the novels Dale Loves Sophie to Death, for which she received the National Book Award; The Time of Her Life; Fortunate Lives; The Evidence Against Her; and, most recently, The Truth of the Matter; as well as a memoir, The Family Heart.

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