By Don DeLillo
The New York Times surveyed writers, critics, and professors about the most important books written after 1980, and Underworld was number two. I love Don DeLillo. He created a big novel about America during the Cold War—interconnected stories that start with a baseball game and include the atomic bomb, a massive art installation, and so much more. DeLillo gets into the minds of all the people at that game—J. Edgar Hoover, the players on the field (including Willie Mays), a boy who skipped school to be there—and through them, he defines an obscure moment and then uses it to tell us something about our lives today.