A Moral Temper: The Letters of Dwight Macdonald

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9781566633932: A Moral Temper: The Letters of Dwight Macdonald
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Dwight Macdonald's biographer has brought together in one volume a comprehensive selection of letters from the correspondence of one of the most astute observers of American politics, society, and culture in the twentieth century. Macdonald's letters span his lifetime, from his education at Exeter and Yale in the twenties through his career as an editor of Partisan Review, founder of Politics magazine, staff writer for the New Yorker, columnist for Esquire, and cultural critic and essayist for other major publications. The scope of his interests was extraordinary as was the diversity of friends and colleagues who became his correspondents. He had an instinctive grasp of the important fact and important thought, and an uncanny ability to bring an issue before the intellectual community, of which he was a prominent member. Macdonald consistently had his eye on what he felt was a change in the moral temper of the times and a prevailing dehumanization of the individual. Few spoke more eloquently against the mechanized terror of the modern world and of the separation of means from ends. His letters, always spirited and engrossing, trace the life of an upper-middle-class white male, schooled in the elite institutions of the WASP establishment, who managed to jettison the prejudices and provincialism of his class and, through the force of an inquiring mind, become a penetrating critic of mid-century American civilization.

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About the Author:

In addition to his biography of Dwight Macdonald, Michael Wreszin has written the lives of two other American intellectual journalists―Oswald Garrison Villard and Albert Jay Nock. Mr. Wreszin is professor emeritus of history at Queens College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.

From Publishers Weekly:

"Flattered you think my political philosophy worth a thesis and hopeful you will be able to define it more clearly than I ever have!" wrote critic and philosopher Dwight Macdonald to a graduate student in the 1950s. He then delivered a cogent pr‚cis of his political philosophy drawing on anarchists such as Kropotkin, rejecting both British and Russian collectivism and decrying war that negates the last part of his statement and stunningly exhibits his intelligence, wit and moral giantism. Born in 1906, Macdonald attended Exeter and Yale, and became by turns a Marxist, a Trotskyist, a pacifist, an anarchist, a prominent anti-Stalinist and a leading opponent of U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War. Along the way he edited the Partisan Review (1937-1943) and founded the influential magazine Politics in 1944, which introduced such writers as Simone Weil, Albert Camus and Mary McCarthy. The early letters to his parents and, from the 1930s through the '70s, the dozens written to many noted American editors, thinkers and writers (from Henry Luce and Stephen Spender to John Leonard and Harrison Salisbury) range from insightful and witty to cranky (he complains about advances and royalties and gripes about friends). Macdonald is an important American thinker whose work has been much overlooked and whose ever-evolving political philosophies have gone misunderstood. This wonderful collection should do much to remedy the situation and will be vital to students and scholars of American political thought and intellectual history.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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Book Description Ivan R Dee, Inc, United States, 2001. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. Dwight Macdonald's biographer has brought together in one volume a comprehensive selection of letters from the correspondence of one of the most astute observers of American politics, society, and culture in the twentieth century. Macdonald's letters span his lifetime, from his education at Exeter and Yale in the twenties through his career as an editor of Partisan Review, founder of Politics magazine, staff writer for the New Yorker, columnist for Esquire, and cultural critic and essayist for other major publications. The scope of his interests was extraordinary as was the diversity of friends and colleagues who became his correspondents. He had an instinctive grasp of the important fact and important thought, and an uncanny ability to bring an issue before the intellectual community, of which he was a prominent member. Macdonald consistently had his eye on what he felt was a change in the moral temper of the times and a prevailing dehumanization of the individual. Few spoke more eloquently against the mechanized terror of the modern world and of the separation of means from ends.His letters, always spirited and engrossing, trace the life of an upper-middle-class white male, schooled in the elite institutions of the WASP establishment, who managed to jettison the prejudices and provincialism of his class and, through the force of an inquiring mind, become a penetrating critic of mid-century American civilization. Seller Inventory # AAZ9781566633932

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Book Description Ivan R Dee, Inc, United States, 2001. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Dwight Macdonald s biographer has brought together in one volume a comprehensive selection of letters from the correspondence of one of the most astute observers of American politics, society, and culture in the twentieth century. Macdonald s letters span his lifetime, from his education at Exeter and Yale in the twenties through his career as an editor of Partisan Review, founder of Politics magazine, staff writer for the New Yorker, columnist for Esquire, and cultural critic and essayist for other major publications. The scope of his interests was extraordinary as was the diversity of friends and colleagues who became his correspondents. He had an instinctive grasp of the important fact and important thought, and an uncanny ability to bring an issue before the intellectual community, of which he was a prominent member. Macdonald consistently had his eye on what he felt was a change in the moral temper of the times and a prevailing dehumanization of the individual. Few spoke more eloquently against the mechanized terror of the modern world and of the separation of means from ends. His letters, always spirited and engrossing, trace the life of an upper-middle-class white male, schooled in the elite institutions of the WASP establishment, who managed to jettison the prejudices and provincialism of his class and, through the force of an inquiring mind, become a penetrating critic of mid-century American civilization. Seller Inventory # AAZ9781566633932

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Book Description Ivan R Dee, Inc, 2001. Condition: New. A bountiful selection of letters from Dwight Macdonald, one of the crankiest and shrewdest observers of American life in the 20th century. "These letters sing."-New York Times Book Review. Editor(s): Wreszin, Michael. Num Pages: 512 pages, illustrations. BIC Classification: 1KBB; BGH; BGL; DSB; HBJK; HBLW; JKS; JPQB. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 241 x 168 x 39. Weight in Grams: 925. . 2001. First Edition, First Impression. Hardcover. . . . . . Seller Inventory # V9781566633932

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