|Author/Contributor(s):||Kazin, Alfred ; Solotaroff, Ted|
"Alfred Kazin chose America as his subject, and his intellectual awakening is itself something of an American legend. . . . Ted Solotaroff's selection of his work is a fitting tribute, a book that will be a starting point for further reading, both of Kazin and of the native writers to whom he devoted himself" -- The New Yorker
Over the course of 60 years, Alfred Kazin's writings confronted virtually all of our major imaginative writers, from Ralph Waldo Emerson and Emily Dickinson to James Wright and Joyce Carol Oates and including such unexpected figures as Abraham Lincoln, William James and Thorstein Veblen. It is fair to say that he succeeded Edmund Wilson as the secretary of American letters. At the same time this son of immigrant Russian Jews wrote out of the tensions of the outsider and the astute, outspoken leftist.
Editor Ted Solotaroff has selected material from Kazin's three classic memoirs to accompany these critical writings. The excerpts include sharply etched portraits of the Brownsville, Greenwich Village, Upper West Side, and Cape Cod literary milieus and of such figures as Saul Bellow, Lionel Trilling, Edmund Wilson, and Hannah Arendt.
Alfred Kazin's America provides an ongoing example of the spiritual freedom, individualism, and democratic contentiousness that he regarded as his heritage and endeavored to pass on.