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Commutation: $9.17

Published: January 2, 2010

In the business stories he wrote for the Post, Sinclair Lewis satirized the short-sighted, self-serving pomposity within American business. (He would have no end of inspiration were he writing today.) Lewis never adopted the Post’s reverential attitude toward American business. By the late 1920s, he proved one of its harshest critics. But he never lost his interest in, or affection for, the American worker. He may have ridiculed the Babbitts of his day, but he never became cynical or dismissive. Behind the scornful tone of his Lewis’ work, you can detect the voice of a frustrated idealist.

Read the original story, published in October, 1915 [PDF].

<em>Commutation: $9.17</em><br />by Sinclair Lewis<br />October 30, 1915

Commutation: $9.17
by Sinclair Lewis
October 30, 1915

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  • Frank James Davis

    Mr. Lewis lived his socialism. The saintly worker was certainly his obsession, his perpetual hero; predatory business–according to Lewis–cynically, and invariably, exploited that worker.
    Sinclair Lewis simply refused to see the mutually beneficial, more necessarily cooperative aspect to their relationship.