“If you want to make a million, you don’t have to understand money, what you have to understand is people’s fears about money.”
– William Gaddis, Jr.
There’s a lot of money to be made from playing on fear, and so much of that fear circles around money itself. William Gaddis came up in a generation of postmodern American novelists who sought to capture, understand, and convey that fear. Postwar America saw a huge economic boom, but also dire social times for marginalized communities of people, and political action borne from paranoia. Suburbia was created, and capitalism was on the uprise, but so was confusion: time was moving fast, and with it, technology. Money was power, but it was also a prison. If William Gaddis made his million, it was a natural byproduct of his ability to distill and communicate, in his unique way, the fear over what happens when a country suddenly finds itself on the top of the world, and the true meaning of success.