Louis Menand presents his definitive new intellectual and cultural history of the United States in the post-WWII era. Twenty years ago in The Metaphysical Club, Pulitzer Prize–winning scholar and critic Louis Menand explored American intellectual and cultural history in the late-19th and early-20th centuries. In The Free World, he returns to those questions about what defined and shaped American culture—economically, politically, artistically, and personally—later on, during the Cold War. Taking readers inside such moments and places as Hannah Arendt’s Manhattan, the Paris of Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir, Merce Cunningham and John Cage’s residencies at Black Mountain College, and Elvis Presley’s early career at Sun Studios in Memphis, Menand shows how changing economic, technological, and social forces impacted the world of ideas as much as they did the contest for power. Louis Menand researched and wrote The Free World during his 2007–2008 Fellowship at the Library’s Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers. He discusses his book with New York Times critic A.O. Scott.