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Sinclair Lewis was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1930, the first American writer to win such an honor. In Babbitt, he directed his satirical barbs at the American businessman and a town obsessed by capitalism and the "values" of the marketplace. Babbitt captures the flavor of America during the economic boom years of the 1920s, and its protagonist has become the symbol of middle-class mediocrity, his name an enduring part of the American lexicon.