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Gerald Sorin

Irving Howe : A Life of Passionate Dissent

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An illuminating biography of an American intellectual and one of the century's most important public thinkers whose commitment to social reform was balanced by his love of fiction, poetry, baseball, and music.

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An illuminating biography of an American intellectual and one of the century's most important public thinkers whose commitment to social reform was balanced by his love of fiction, poetry, baseball, and music.Publishers Weekly,Irving Howe's 1976 The World of Our Fathers-a bestselling masterpiece of cultural history, as well as an "implicitly autobiographical" work-has become a classic of Jewish-American history and secured Howe a prominent place in American letters, even while many of his other major works-a 1951 literary study Sherwood Anderson, or his 1957 Politics and the Novel-now go unread. Howe's life and career are emblematic of many Jewish intellectuals of his time. He was born in 1920 and raised in the crushing poverty of the Depression; both of his parents worked long days for low wages in the garment industry. Howe's family instilled in him an intellectual life and the "quest for absolute perfection." Howe early joined the Young People's Socialist League, and his involvement with the heady intellectual political atmosphere at City College of New York prepared him for his later published work in Commentary and Partisan Review in the 1940s, his founding of Dissent in the 1950s and his influential career as a critic and political commentator. Sorin is primarily interested in Howe's intellectual and political life. And while he does include some words critical of Howe-such as a critique of Howe's famous attack on Kate Millett's Sexual Politics, in which his subject called the author a "female impersonator"-Sorin's tone is overwhelmingly adulatory, even fawning. While Sorin did interview nearly 50 informants, much of the material comes from Howe's autobiographical writings. This is an important first step in re-examining a major intellectual and should serve as a springboard for more in-depth and balanced evaluations. Photos. (Jan. 15) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Specifications

Publisher
New York University Press
Book Format
Paperback
Number of Pages
386
Author
Gerald Sorin
Title
Irving Howe
ISBN-13
9780814740200
Height
22.860
Publication Date
April, 2005
Assembled Product Dimensions (L x W x H)
8.76 x 5.78 x 1.01 Inches
ISBN-10
0814740200

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