Masterplots II, Nonfiction
318 works of important 20th century nonfiction receive the Masterplotstreatment in this four-volume set. This series includes contributions from authors worldwide in the areas of autobiography, memoirs, philosophy, literary theory, anthropology, psychology and other subjects written for the nonspecialist. The works included in this set have had a profound effect on modern culture. Examples of titles include Richard Wright's Black Boy, Norman Mailer's Of a Fire on the Moon, Simone de Beauvoir's Le Deuxieme Sexe, Thomas S. Kuhn's The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, and Betty Friedan'sThe Feminine Mystique. Works by prominent thinkers such as Sigmund Freud, Carl Gustav Jung, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn and Ludwig Wittgenstein are also included. As in all Masterplots II series, there is no duplication of titles within any other Masterplots collection.
Like all Masterplots sets, this set offers information in an accessible format designed especially for its subject matter. The Nonfiction set is arranged alphabetically by the title for which the work is best known in the United States. The ready-reference front matter includes the work's author, birth and death dates, the type of work, and publication information. Information such as time of work, locale and principal personages is included where appropriate. The articles are divided into four major sections: "The Form and Content" section describes the structure and content of the book and relates the genesis of the work. "The Analysis" discusses major themes, ideas and motifs in the work and offers a critical examination of methods, style and focus. "The Critical Context" section places the work within its broad cultural, disciplinary, or historical context or within the context of the author's canon and provides information on critical reactions to the work. The final section, "Sources for Further Study", provides accessible secondary works that complement the article.
An Author Index, Title Index and Type of Work Index are found at the end of volume 4. The Title Index provides a complete alphabetical list of titles with cross-references from foreign-language and other titles under which the work appeared. The Type of Work Index lists the works by subgenre. A complete list of contributing writers along with their academic affiliations appears in the front matter to volume 1.