‘Why Read Moby-Dick?’: A Passionate Defense Of The ‘American Bible’ : NPR

Moby-Dick, Philbrick explains, published in 1851, was itself born in the pre-Civil-War churn of a very tense American consciousness. While it wasn’t a critical or popular success upon publication (critically, he calls it a “great disaster”), Philbrick notes that after World War I, Americans here and abroad came to understand that it contained “the genetic code” for much of what happens in the country where it was written. And he predicts it will cycle back to relevance in difficult times, “whenever we will run into an imminent cataclysm.”
— Read on www.npr.org/2011/10/17/141429619/why-read-moby-dick-a-passionate-defense-of-the-american-bible