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A new edition of the definitive book on the depression-era immigrant experience in New York City. Now with an exciting new preface by rock musician Lou Reed (Delmore Schwartz's student at Syracuse), In Dreams Begin Responsibilities collects eight of Schwartz's finest delineations of New York's intellectuals in the 1930s and 1940s. As no other writer can, Schwartz captures the speech, the generational conflicts, the mocking self-analysis of educated, ambitious, Depression-stymied young people at odds with their immigrant parents. This is the unique American dilemma Irving Howe described as "that interesting point where intellectual children of immigrant Jews are finding their way into the larger world while casting uneasy, rueful glances over their backs." Afterwords by James Atlas and Irving Howe place the stories in their historical and cultural setting.
Among other public buildings in a certain town, which for many reasons it will be prudent to refrain from mentioning, and to which I will assign no fictitious name, there is one anciently common to most towns, great or small: to wit, a workhouse; and in this workhouse was born; on a day and date which I need not trouble myself to repeat, inasmuch as it can be of no possible consequence to the reader, in this stage of the business at all events; the item of mortality whose name is prefixed to the head of ...
Man of letters, political critic, public intellectual, Irving Howe was one of America's most exemplary and embattled writers. Since his death in 1993 at age 72, Howe's work and his personal example of commitment to high principle, both literary and political, have had a vigorous afterlife. This posthumous and capacious collection includes twenty-six essays that originally appeared in such publications as the New York Review of Books, the New Republic, and the Nation. Taken together, they reveal the depth and breadth of Howe's enthusiasms and range over politics, literature, Judaism, and the tumults of American society. A Voice Still Heard is essential to the understanding of the passionate and skeptical spirit of this lucid writer. The book forms a bridge between the two parallel enterprises of culture and politics. It shows how politics justifies itself by culture, and how the latter prompts the former. Howe's voice is ever sharp, relentless, often scathingly funny, revealing Howe as that rarest of critics--a real reader and writer, one whose clarity of style is a result of his disciplined and candid mind.
Winesburg, Ohio, gave birth to the American story cycle, for which William Faulkner, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and later writers were forever indebted. Defying the prudish sensibilities of his time, Anderson never omitted anything adult, harsh, or shocking; instead he embraced frankness, truth, and the hidden depths everyone possesses. Here we meet young George Willard, a newspaper reporter with dreams; Kate Swift, the schoolteacher who attempts to seduce him; Wing Biddlebaum, a berry picker whose hands are the source of both his renown and shame; Alice Hindman, who has one last adventure; and all the other complex human beings whose portraits brought American literature into the modern age. Their stories make up a classic and place its author alongside the best of American writers. With an Introduction by Irving Howe and an Afterword by Dean Koontz
This book tells the story of those east European Jews who, for several decades starting in the 1880's, undertook a massive migration to the United States. There were two million of them, and they settled mostly in the large American cities, where they attempted to maintain their own Yiddish culture; then, as a result of both external pressures and their own desires, they made their way into American society.
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