Selected Reviews

On Anais Nin Reader:

“A very valuable book for every serious reader of contemporary literature and aesthetics.” Choice

“[The editor] has mapped out his course with a grand strategy which shows some perhaps surprising results, interrelationships of one novel with another, dove-tailings of seemingly disparate moments … as if in a new context and a new text.” Marguerite Young in New York Woman

“The choice of texts and the editing by Philip Jason are ably done.” Wallace Fowlie in New York Times Book Review.

On Nineteenth Century American Poetry: An Annotated Bibliography:

“The annotations are strikingly well written and useful, as they are both descriptive and evaluative.” Library Journal

On Fourteen Landing Zones: Approaches to Vietnam War Literature.

Vietnam literature is itself the preoccupation of a new generation of … scholars, the best of whose work has been brought together in FourteenLanding Zones.” Josiah Bunting III in The Washington Times.

“This collection of 14 critical essays (each a landing zone in the editor’s parlance) offers wide-ranging and insightful approaches to much current Vietnam War literature. Two essays explore issues of gender, violence, and identity; Bobbie Ann Mason’s In Country (1985) is the subject of two essays; one essay explores the interesting concept of typology and community in relation to the literature; one essay discusses the war novels of Japanese journalist Takeshi Kaiko, making the important point that still little is known of war literature from an Asian perspective; two essays concern themselves with the sociological and psychological implications of atrocity and trauma as evinced in the literature. There is one essay each on drama and poetry, and the remaining essays discuss more fiction. The introduction by the editor is full of information behyond the scope of the essays and is powerfully polemical in discussing the developing canonicity of Vietnam War Literature. Highly recommended for all academic libraries.Choice.

“Even experienced literary ‘grunts’ will find much to admire in this collection. It is a valuable and demanding addition to the burgeoning Vietnam bookshelf.” Thomas Myers in Modern Fiction Studies.

“…a volume which deserves to be in every university library. Fourteen Landing Zones serves scholars striving to make sense of the Vietnam War and its impact on American culture.” Peter Rollins in Journal of American Culture.

Fourteen Landing Zones suggests another level of complexity involved in the very process of critically engaging with the textual heritage of the Vietnam War…. [It is] constructed with a distinct editorial plan…designed to open up new critical projects.” Andrew Martin in Contemporary Literature.

On The Vietnam War in Literature: An Annotated Bibliography of Criticism.

“Annotations…are models of their type — descriptive, evaluative, accurate, and literate. They reveal the depth of Jason’s knowledge of this subject and the quality of his thinking about it. This is one of those few reference books that can be read painlessly.” John Newman in Journal of War, Literature, and the Arts.

“…particularly sensitive to essays addressing issues of gender and race, misogyny and racism. These are exactly the kind of non-hegemonic approaches to Viet Nam war literature to which I want my students exposed, and which I fear they would be unlikely to uncover on their own.” David DeRose in Viet Nam Generation.

“A useful resource for libraries of all types.” R. Dyson in Choice.

This volume should be in every undergraduate and graduate academic library.” Joe P. Dunn in American Reference Books Annual.

On Anais Nin and Her Critics.

“Jason, who edited the Anais Nin Reader…now gives us the first objective assessment of the criticism of the work of Anais Nin…. His book is indispensable to any Nin collection.Choice.

“This is a well-organised and ‘user-friendly’ guide which will be helpful to all students of Nin’s work.” Forum for Modern Language Studies.

“Jason includes a wealth of material and offers a thorough and insightful overview of the Nin canon.” American Literary Scholarship.

“As a result of his thorough knowledge of Nin criticism, Jason admirably fulfills his study’s purpose…. His discussion inspires confidence in his having carefully read every one of the books and articles he discusses…. considering the nature of Jason’s book — a description and critique of critiques — it is surprisingly enjoyable reading.Anais: An International Journal.

On The Critical Response to Anais Nin.

“Jason’s is the first [collection] to cover 60 years of criticism, to include a cross-section of journal sources, to juxtapose conflicting interpretations, and to maintain critical objectivity…. Valuable introduction, chronology, and bibliography.” Choice.

“Reading The Critical Response to Anais Nin is very much like listening to a well-crafted argument among thirty-one critics and reviewers…. Jason has provided as coherent a record as exists of the discussion about Nin’s fiction, diaries, and performances that has ensued for more than half a century.” South Atlantic Review.

On Retrieving Bones: Stories and Poems of the Korean War.

performs a great service in linking the Korean War to World War II and Vietnam, helping Americans see themselves more clearly as consequential actors in one of the most ambiguous, and, if ever let fully out in the open, one of the grandest and most complex dramas of our century.” Chicago Tribune

“…a well-wrought primer for all students interested in the recollection of a disremembered war.” War, Literature, and the Arts

“The big selling point of the book is its wonderfully lucid introduction. . . . Kudos to Ehrhart and Jason for getting to the bottom of our Korean War amnesia and for recovering some important literary memories of that otherwise forgotten war.” Marine Corps Gazette

Another longer war would be necessary to learn the lessons that Korean War veterans tried to teach. Many of the works collected here were written some years after Korea (the entries in this excellent collection date between 1946 and 1960). Ehrhart and Jason’s introduction details the history of the Korean Conflict, establishes Korean War writings in relation to other US war literature, and gives a biography of each contributor to the volume. One important chapter looks at novels, films, personal narrative, and other works about the Korean War. These alone make this volume an excellent addition to any library. But what completes the package is the work itself: e.g., William Chamberlain’s “The Trapped Battalion” tells of a resourceful battalion commander who saved his own men and Korean refugees before an onslaught of the Chinese Army; in “Cold Day, Cold Fear” Eugene Burdick relates how two men, one Korean and one American, escape while bringing down on themselves artillery and air attacks. In the most haunting selection, James Drought’s “The Secret,” a veteran examines his role in a war that seemed ludicrous and his feelings of betrayal by the system…. Recommended for collections supporting study of the literature of war. — Choice (January 2000).

(Also favorably reviewed in the Times Literary Supplement, Korean Literature Today, San Franciso Chronicle, and elsewhere.

On Acts and Shadows: The Vietnam War in American Literary Culture.

“Philip K. Jason shows off his wide knowledge of Vietnam War literature in Acts and Shadows: The Vietnam War in American Literary Culture . . . a compilation of ten essays, along with a section on teaching Vietnam War literature (Jason does so at the U.S. Naval Academy). Among the more illuminating pieces are Jason’s takes on science fiction novelist (and Vietnam veteran) Joe Haldeman and James Lee Burke’s fictional Nam vet detective Dave Robicheaux.” The VVA Veteran

” . . . makes an insightful case for the ways in which the literature has begun to reflect a ‘larger perspective,” admitting works by nonveterans and integrating the war into the larger canvas of American lives.” –Edward Palm

“. . . an erudite and thoroughgoing survey of representations of the literature of the Vietnam War.” — Michele Janette in Contemporary Literature

See also review by Vince Gotera. “Whether you know a great deal about the Vietnam war or not, Philip Jason will teach you something. Buy this book.”

On Encyclopedia of American War Literature.

“Researchers who seek information about the major contributors to US war fiction will find this encyclopedia very useful. Its 284 entries provide brief biographical and literary information about writers in this genre. The editors focus on fiction rather than historical or nonfictional works. Besides biographical entries, arranged in alphabetical order, the editors include topical entries that provide overviews of particular wars and literary genres. Entries include all wars in which Americans have participated, ranging from Colonial conflicts (such as King Philip’s War), to the Spanish Civil War and the Vietnam War. Authors include playwrights such as Arthur Miller, songwriters such as George M. Cohan, and poets such as e.e. cummings. Each entry provides excellent background for beginning research and cites other resources. The introduction defends the emphasis on fiction and explains how to use the cross-referencing system. A roster of editors and contributors gives brief biographical information. No equivalent work exists that covers the entire history of US war literature. Highly recommended.” Choice (May 2001) .

[While we are thrilled with this review, we must note that the 284 (who actually counted them?) entries are author and topic entries. Actually, thousands of individual titles receive treatment.]

On Masterplots II: Poetry Series, rev.ed.

“This edition, like all of the Masterplots series, is written in readable language best suited for high-school and undergraduate students.” Read more here

On Critical Survey of Poetry, 2nd rev.ed.

Book News eschews gushing, but this is an incredible reference work at a reasonable price.”–Reference & Research Book News, February, 2003

“The reading level is standard high school level and the 5- to 7-page essays are solid introductions to the poet. Coverage is of poets around the world, with excellent coverage on poets in the United States.”–Reference for Students, The Gale Group, December 2002

“A gem of a reference, this competitively priced set is essential for academic libraries and strongly recommended for all others.”–Library Journal, March 15, 2003

“A new edition of a familiar reference work is usually a cause for celebration, and there is much to cheer about here….This will be a valuable addition to reference collections in public, high-school, and college libraries.”–Booklist, Reference Books Bulletin, April 1, 2003

On Don’t Wave Goodbye: The Children’s Flight from Nazi Persecution to American Freedom.

“This collection of selected primary sources showcases the stories of several of the so-called one thousand children-children brought to the United States between 1934 and 1945 in response to Hitler’s policies of genocide. Jason, a prolific freelance writer, and Posner, president and co-founder of One Thousand Children, a nonprofit organization, have organized the book into chronological sections, moving from the initial planning stages of escape through the journey, adjustments to the new culture, and, finally, the task of coming full circle as these children travel back to their homeland as adults. Readers learn of the difficulties faced by families trying to save loved ones, immigration restrictions and immense paperwork being but two major obstacles. As not much has been written on this subject (the exception being Judith Tydor Baumel’s scholarly Unfulfilled Promise: Rescue and Resettlement of Jewish Refugee Children in the United States 1934-1945), this excellent study is recommended for both public and academic libraries with Holocaust collections.” Library Journal (July 2004)

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