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About the Author

Scott McLemee writes the weekly column "Intellectual Affairs" for Inside Higher Ed. He is a member of the board of directors of the National Book Critics Circle.

Red Summer

Reviews & Essays

Red Summer

Reviewed by Scott McLemee ×

African-American troops returned from World War I to find a new battle waiting  at home.

Punching Out

Reviews & Essays

Punching Out

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Takingapart an auto plant, after the last workers have been let go.

The Fiery Trial

Reviews & Essays

The Fiery Trial

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EricFoner follows the shifts in thought that led an embattled defender of the Unionto become the Great Emancipator.

Edward Said: The Charisma of Criticism

Reviews & Essays

Edward Said: The Charisma of Criticism

Reviewed by Scott McLemee ×

A new book on the life of the controversial writer, teacher, and thinker is a labor of thwarted scholarly love.
Civic War and the Corruption of the Citizen

Reviews & Essays

Civic War and the Corruption of the Citizen

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A plea for the return of the citizen to the center of political life.
Rosenfeld’s Lives: Fame, Oblivion, and the Furies of Writing

Reviews & Essays

Rosenfeld’s Lives: Fame, Oblivion, and the Furies of Writing

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The passage of a literary prodigy.
My Happiness Bears No Relation to Happiness: A Poet’s Life in the Palestinian Century

Reviews & Essays

My Happiness Bears No Relation to Happiness: A Poet’s Life in the Palestinian Century

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The life of an internationally celebrated poet whose voice embodies "inscrutable simplicity."
Maimonides: The Life and World of One of Civilization’s Greatest Minds

Reviews & Essays

Maimonides: The Life and World of One of Civilization’s Greatest Minds

Scott McLemee ×

From Moses to Moses, runs a Jewish saying, “there was none like Moses.” It’s a wry evasion of the relative eminence between the ancient prophet and Moses Maimonides, the...
The Men in My Life

Reviews & Essays

The Men in My Life

Scott McLemee ×

Criticism, wrote Oscar Wilde, is “a mode of autobiography…. It is the spectator, and not life, that art really mirrors.” Vivian Gornick might well have taken this as an epigraph...
Hubert Harrison: The Voice of Harlem Radicalism, 1883-1918

Reviews & Essays

Hubert Harrison: The Voice of Harlem Radicalism, 1883-1918

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A new biography sheds light on a little-known civil rights pioneer.
Facing Unpleasant Facts and All Art Is Propaganda: Orwell’s Essays

Reviews & Essays

Facing Unpleasant Facts and All Art Is Propaganda: Orwell’s Essays

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Two new volumes of essays showcase the dauntless power of a mind set against illusions.
Chasing the Flame: Sergio Vieira de Mello and the Fight to Save the World

Reviews & Essays

Chasing the Flame: Sergio Vieira de Mello and the Fight to Save the World

Reviewed by Scott McLemee ×

The author of A Problem from Hell on a career in ambitious pursuit of peace.