A Rebel In Defense Of Tradition: The Life And Politics Of Dwight Macdonald

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9780465017393: A Rebel In Defense Of Tradition: The Life And Politics Of Dwight Macdonald

Here is the first full-scale biography of one of America's most gifted twentieth-century intellectuals - a classic American dissenter who was at the center of many of the major controversies and confrontations of his time.
Writer, editor, publisher, intellectual street fighter, and intermittent political activist, Dwight Macdonald was an American original, a native-born dissident individualist in the tradition of Henry David Thoreau. An early editor of the Partisan Review and for years a staff writer at Fortune, the New Yorker, and Esquire as well as publisher of his own extraordinary journal, Politics, he was an enormously influential cultural critic whose friends ranged from Hannah Arendt to Czeslaw Milosz, from Albert Camus to Abbie Hoffman. T. S. Eliot considered his theoretical analysis of mass culture a seminal contribution to twentieth-century literature. Macdonald was not only an intellectual gadfly - in Irving Kristol's words, "everybody's security risk" - but a political activist (at various times a socialist, a pacifist, and an anarchist) and a vigorous exponent of civil disobedience in opposition to the Vietnam War.
This book is the quintessential story of an American awakening. It is the tale of an upper-middle-class white male, schooled in the elite institutions of the WASP establishment, who managed to jettison all of the prejudices and provincialism of his class and through the force of his inquiring mind, to become one of the most penetrating critics of mid-century American civilization.
Macdonald's papers add up to seventy-three feet of extraordinary correspondence, manuscripts, notes, printed matter, photographs, and memorabilia extending from 1920 to 1980 - a full sixty years of vivid material. His correspondence is unusually rich and well catalogued, with letters to and from a variety of significant figures who have shaped twentieth-century intellectual and political history. An entire section is devoted to his Trotskyist period, and many of Macdonald's notes deal with the internal controversies among the membership of the American Committee for Cultural Freedom. Based on these previously unpublished and undiscovered materials, as well as on interviews with Saul Bellow, William F. Buckley, Jr., Irving Howe, Alfred Kazin, Norman Mailer, Mary McCarthy, Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., and William Shawn, to name but a few, this book is a key source for rethinking the political and cultural dilemmas of late-twentieth-century America.

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From the Publisher:

The first full biography of one of America's most gifted twentieth-century intellectuals--writer, intellectual street fighter, and political activist Dwight Macdonald.

About the Author:

Michael Wreszin is Professor of History at Queens College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.

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Wreszin, Michael
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ISBN 10: 0465017398 ISBN 13: 9780465017393
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Wreszin, Michael
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ISBN 10: 0465017398 ISBN 13: 9780465017393
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Wreszin, Michael
Editorial: Basic Books (1994)
ISBN 10: 0465017398 ISBN 13: 9780465017393
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Descripción Basic Books, 1994. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. Brand New!. Nº de ref. de la librería VIB0465017398

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