Martin Arrowsmith's singular, if somewhat ascetic, devotion to science affords Sinclair Lewis his most dramatic opportunity to portray an American whose work become his life. Forced to give up successive sinecures—instructor in medicine, small-town doctor, research pathologist—by obstacles ranging from public ignorance to the publicity-mindedness of a great foundation, Arrowsmith becomes virtually isolated as a seeker of truth. Even so, Lewis' poignant thesis would seem to be that American idealism cannot beget true tragedy, because its adherents lack a sympathetic audience and their stumbling-blocks are, for the most part, petty. Observing the Nobel Prize-winning author's double gifts for satire and realism, E. M. Forster said, "He has lodged a piece of Continent in the world's imagination" and André Maurois proclaimed him "a great novelist."
Original title: Arrowsmith
Genre: Fiction→ Science Fiction→ Hard Science→ Medicine
Fiction→ General Fiction→ Humor→ Satire
- The Signet Classic edition includes an afterword by Mark Schorer
- Sinclair Lewis won the Pulitzer Prize for this novel, but he turned down the award, essentially because he felt that the prize was meant for works that glorified the United States, and that, as a satire, the novel didn't fit
- The use of bacteriophage in this book arguably turns it into a science fiction story, an accurate and still novel one