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St. Mary's College of Maryland Professor Explores America’s Current Political Environment in Self-Published Book

September 12, 2012
Press Release #12-102


St. Mary’s College of Maryland Professor Robin Bates recently self-published, “How Beowulf Can Save America: An Epic Hero's Guide to Defeating the Politics of Rage.” The book applies the 9th century Anglo-Saxon poem to the contentiousness besetting current American politics and then asks, “What would Beowulf do?”

Bates argues that the three monsters that Beowulf fights represent three different angers that societies encounter, including today’s United States. These are jealous resentment, destructive grief, and cynical despair. The book shows how the tactics to defeat the monsters can also be applied in overcoming our own angers. The goal is a society that ensures justice, equality, and the promise of a good life for all.

Robin Bates is professor of English at St. Mary's College of Maryland, where he has been teaching English language literature, including “Beowulf,” for over 30 years. He also writes a daily blog on “how literature can change your life” at

“How Beowulf Can Save America” is available on and