I met the bookseller and onetime radical Walter Goldwater in the fall of 1965 through the good offices of the pianist Jacob Lateiner and his then-wife Vera. When the Lateiners heard from me that I was interested in politics, that I liked to read such intellectual magazines as Partisan Review and Dissent, and that I had once played a lot of tennis, they fairly cackled with pleasure at the prospect of bringing Walter and me together. They told me that he had been a Trotskyite, owned a New York bookstore specializing in radical literature, and loved playing tennis rather more than life itself.

This discussion with the Lateiners had taken place during the preceding summer, and when I got back to New York I paid my first call on Walter at his University Place Bookshop. Located in a large store on the side of the ineffably seedy Albert Hotel, the shop was of a piece with its brother Broadway...


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