Features June 1986
Writing the history of the New York intellectuals
On Prodigal Sons by Alexander Bloom.
Of the writing of books and articles about the history of the New York intellectuals there appears to be no end. Every day now brings its expected parcel of new reading matter (if not exactly new information) on the arguments which once raged in the pages of Partisan Review, Commentary, Encounter, and sundry other small-circulation journals, and in the personal histories of the principal protagonists in a story that must be as familiar—in some quarters at least—as the history of the Kennedys. How many times, after all, does the saga of City College in the Thirties or of Partisan’s break with the Communist Party or of the turns and counter-turns in Commentary’s political outlook have to be recounted before we have been made to feel that the subject is exhausted and should now be retired? Is there really anything new to be learned from or about this...
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