Politics and the Intellectuals: Conversations with Irving Howe

Overview

A compilation of Irving Howe's interviews during the last fifteen years of his life, this book represents what could be viewed as the sequel to Howe's intellectual autobiography, A Margin of Hope, which took the story of his life only up to the late 1970s.

Many of these interviews were never published and have existed only as personal tapes in the hands of such scholars and activists as Todd Gitlin and Maurice Isserman. Others were originally published in such venues as The New ...

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Overview

A compilation of Irving Howe's interviews during the last fifteen years of his life, this book represents what could be viewed as the sequel to Howe's intellectual autobiography, A Margin of Hope, which took the story of his life only up to the late 1970s.

Many of these interviews were never published and have existed only as personal tapes in the hands of such scholars and activists as Todd Gitlin and Maurice Isserman. Others were originally published in such venues as The New York Times, The Jerusalem Post, and the PBS documentary Arguing the World.

Howe never organized his thoughts about the last fifteen years of his life, during which he gained renown for World of Our Fathers, received a MacArthur Fellowship, and became widely regarded as the leading left-liberal intellectual in the U.S. and, arguably, the leading literary critic in America following the deaths of Lionel Trilling and Edmund Wilson. During this time, Howe also struggled to redefine the American Left in an environment that discounted and marginalized it. Indeed, these interviews may have particular significance today, a period of new opportunities for the liberal Left, yet one in which it struggles to construct some coherent identity and compelling program.

The editors worked with the full cooperation of Howe's family. His daughter, Nina, contributed an afterword and provided a number of illustrations and photos that have never before appeared in print.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781557535511
  • Publisher: Purdue University Press
  • Publication date: 2/15/2010
  • Pages: 400
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author


John Rodden has taught at the University of Virginia and the University of Texas at Austin. He has published seventeen books, including Irving Howe and the Critics, The Worlds of Irving Howe, Lionel Trilling and the Critics, and The Politics of Literary Reputation: The Making and Claiming of St. George Orwell.
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Table of Contents

Preface

Acknowledgments

Chronology

Introduction. Affirming Dissent, or Irving Howe in His Interviews 1

1 "The Lost Worlds of Our Fathers and of Yiddish Literature," Moment, March 1976, 24-27 William Novak Novak, William 25

2 "Israel, American Jews, and the Peace Now Camp," Jerusalem Post Weekly, 24 August 1976 Sol Stern Stern, Sol 34

3 "Fiction, Society, and the Literary Critic," Book Forum: An International Transdisciplinary Quarterly, 1981, 534-40 Sandra Greenberg Greenberg, Sandra 41

4 "Dissent in the Fifties and Sixties," 24 January 1982; 21 October 1982 (unpublished transcripts) Maurice Isserman Isserman, Maurice 52

5 "A Margin of Hope at the 92nd Street Y," 7 November 1983 (unpublished audiotape) Grace Schulman Schulman, Grace 82

6 "From the Thirties to the Rise of Neoconservatism: Politics and Intellectual Life Across a Half-Century," Radio Interview with the Canadian Broadcasting Company, Toronto, December 1983 Stephen Lewis Lewis, Stephen 107

7 Editorial Board of The New York Times, "Howe and Harrington on the Future of Democratic Socialism Beyond the Reagan Era," New York Times Magazine, 17 June 1984, 24 120

8 "A áPartisan' View of Orwell," October 1983 and April 1987 (unpublished transcript) John Rodden Rodden, John 137

9 "Looking Back on the New Left and the Counterculture," 15 April 1985 (unpublished audiotape) Todd Gitlin Gitlin, Todd 151

10 "Socialism, Communism, and the New York Intellectuals," 6 June 1985 (unpublished transcript) Neil Jumonville Jumonville, Neil 198

11 "Thoughts on Jewish Intellectual Life and the American Academy," 12 December 1988 (unpublished audiotape) Susanne Klingenstein Klingenstein, Susanne 206

12 "The First 35 Years Were the Hardest: Interview with Myself," Dissent, Spring 1989, 133-36 Irving Howe Howe, Irving 232

13 "Making of a Modern Critic," American Literary History, Fall 1989, 554-64 William Cain Cain, William 243

14 "'Howe Now': on Politics, Art, and the Critic," Thesis: The Magazine of the Graduate School and University Center Fall 1990, 4-11 Jim Holt Holt, Jim 256

15 "Fraternal Dissents on Max Shachtman and American Trotskyism," November 1990 (unpublished audiotape) Robert Negin Negin, Robert 270

16 "'My Recollections of Mike': Harrington the Thinker and Socialist Activist," 26 March 1991 (unpublished transcript) Maurice Isserman Isserman, Maurice 281

17 "Irving Howe, New York Intellectual," Selections from Arguing the World (New York: The Free Press, 2000) Joseph Dorman Dorman, Joseph 310

Postscript. Interview with Robert Silvers on the Death of Irving Howe, CBC Radio, "As It Happens," May 5, 1993 323

Afterword Nina Howe Howe, Nina 327

Bibliography 332

Index 335

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