Navigation – Plan du site
Varia

The Ethnicity of the New York Intellectuals

L’éthnicité des intellectuels new-yorkais
Stephen J. Whitfield
p. 179-189

Résumé

Les intellectuels new-yorkais œuvrant à la rédaction de revues radicales telles que Partisan Review, qui ont émergé dans les années 1930, se présentaient comme des penseurs indépendants et cosmopolites charmés par une aliénation idéalisée. Pour autant, il est également envisageable de les considérer comme les membres d’une communauté américaine au sein de laquelle il était pertinent de partager les caractéristiques d’une même éthnicité. La judaïcité de la plupart des personnages clés de cette chapelle était laïque et peu réceptive au judaïsme et à son histoire. Cependant, leurs origines communes, ancrées dans la marginalité, expliquent leur vive sensibilité quant à l’emprise de la politique sur la culture et leur engouement pour des courants tels que le modernisme et le marxisme. Dans les années 1930 et 1940, l’antisémitisme a entravé toutes possibilités de promotion universitaire et a donné à l’écriture critique des intellectuels new-yorkais une impulsion combative et irrépressible. Pourtant, l’obtention de diplômes supérieurs et de chaires professorales n’a nullement refréné l’élan de ces écrivains et critiques juifs dans leur puissante, parfois caustique, inspiration créative qui allait contribuer à façonner un goût nouveau et à enrichir la culture nationale.

Haut de page

Entrées d’index

Index chronologique :

20th century, XXe siècle
Haut de page

Texte intégral

  • 1  Ted Morgan, On Becoming American, Boston, Houghton Mifflin, 1978, p. 291-292.

1Foreign observers of the United States, especially Tocqueville, have underscored both the power of individualism (a term he introduced) and the impulse toward community, at least a community based on shared interest rather than common ancestry. The French-born journalist Ted Morgan was impressed more recently by the eagerness with which local inhabitants still join the voluntary associa­tions which Tocqueville described. “Whenever two or more Americans have a common problem, they form a Committee of Concerned Citizens”, Morgan claimed in a 1978 memoir, leading him to “wonder if there is a single American who does not belong to some associa­tion. […] I once thought I had found one, a hermit who lived in anabandoned silver mine in the wilderness area of Idaho’s Salmon River. But he told me he belonged to the National Association of Hermits1.

2The alienation that was long the password into membership of New York’s mostly Jewish intellectuals did not prevent them being considered a kind of community, or at least something of a sub-community. They emerged in the 1930s, and their impact is not entirely spent. They differed from their predecessors who constituted the rudiments of an American intelligentsia. Unlike the Puritans of the 17th century, the mostly second-generation, secularized Jews did not put the exercise of reason to the service of faith. Unlike the Framers of the 18th century, these mostly radical cosmopolitans did not seek to apply the wisdom of the ancients to the problems of statecraft. Unlike the Boston Brahmins of the 19th century, these creators and editors of mostly “little magazines” did not cultivate learning as a form of stewardship or as a sublime enhancement of individualism. They were generalists who respected no disciplinary boundaries. They were kibitzers ready with an opinion or an argument on virtually any topic. The New York Intellectuals could as easily be aroused by the pressures of modern politics as by the stimulus of modern art; for them ideas mattered.

  • 2 Ibid., p. 110; Theodore Draper, Present History: On Nuclear War, Détente and Other Controversies, N (...)

3What barely mattered, until late in their lives, were the claims of Jewish identity and the struggle for Jewish continuity. What may be distinctly Jewish about them is nevertheless the topic of this essay, which accepts the common understanding in the secondary literature that neither Jewish identity nor New York residence can be sufficient to qualify for membership of the community considered here. Support for this opinion can be gained, for example, by examining the cases of two laureates of the Nobel Prize for Peace. Henry A. Kissinger was raised in New York City after his family had fled Nazi Germany in 1938, and has lived there since leaving the Depart­ment of State. It was during government service in Washington (1969-1977) that the Gallup Poll revealed that he had become the republic’s most admired citizen and, according to the vote of Miss Universe contestants of 1974, “the greatestperson in the world today2. Few, if any, Jewish thinkers and writers are more widely admired than Elie Wiesel, whose wrenching path from Sighet through Auschwitz and Buchenwald, and on to Paris, culminated in New York City, where he has formally resided. Writing mostly in French, Wiesel has situated almost none of his fiction in Ameri­ca, and, like Kissinger, has been unaffiliated with the mostly New-York-born sons of eastern European immigrants who have constituted this particular community of polemicists, editors and critics.

  • 3  Quoted in Glenn Kaye, “A Certain Simon Schama”, Harvard Magazine, 93, November-December, 1991, p. (...)

4The Jewish features of their sensibility and their legacy can be briefly characterized. Historians would find it hard to miss the logocentricity which has shaped Jewish culture more broadly and which has given it enduring power. Language “is the Jews’ weapon”, a British textile manufacturer once instructed his son, the future historian Simon Schama. In the Diaspora, “we can’t really be soldiers; we must always rely on thespoken word3. Through the transmission of texts, through the exegesis of legal codes, through the remorseless ratiocination that entwined knowledge with religion, Jews enjoyed historic advantages in what has seemed like the mass production of intellectuals. Even many of those who propelled themselves away from Judaism have been conversant with ideas, fluent in expressing them, ambitious to test them in the light of experience. American intellectual history over almost the past century could not be adequately told without recounting how some of New York’s most voluble Jews contributed to serious discourse and helped define the themes and problems of public life.

  • 4  William F. Buckley, Jr., In Search of Anti-Semitism, New York, Continuum, 1992, p. 6; Peter Steinf (...)

5They emerged when antisemitism was still widespread enough to stunt academic careers. That was certainly true of the teacher who instructed so many of them at the City College of New York, Morris Raphael Cohen. He was a secularist, a rationalist, a liberal and an agnostic. Cohen was also quite explicitly a non-Zionist who held no brief for Jewish nationalism. He was a gifted but cruel teacher, endowed with an acerbic personality but also with pedagogical charisma. Despite having earned a doctorate from Harvard, despite brandishing letters of recommendation from the nation’s leading philosophers, such as William James and Josiah Royce, Cohen took six years to find a college-level teaching job, and was unable to publish his first book until the age of 51. One of his students, before the Second World War, was the versatile Daniel Bell, who had calcula­ted that the only way to snatch an academic post might be to make himself a special­ist in a downright exotic field, like sinology, which might be in demand. The idea was dropped, and in the succeeding decades discrimination against Jews virtually evaporated. Des­cribing himself as an “Old Testament Jew4, Bell retired from Harvard in 1990, having served as the Henry Ford II Professor of Social Sciences—itself a chair named for the grandson of the most mischievous of American antisemites.

6What counted when the New York Intellectuals were starting out in the thirties was class more than “race” or ethnicity or religion; and this community first cohered around a single journal: Partisan Review, co-founded in 1934 by William Phillips, a son of Jewish immigrants, and by Philip Rahv ( Greenberg), born in the Ukraine. Yiddish was his mother tongue. In the larval stage of the magazine, Partisan Review was edited and disseminated under the literary sponsorship of the Communist Party and of its John Reed Club in New York City, which meant that Rahv and Phillips were expected to defend the interests of the Soviet Union, to intensify opposition to the rise of Fascism and Nazism, and to clarify the aims and methods of a proletarian or “revolutionary” literature. But the switch in the Communists’ political strategy toward the Popular Front, as well as the shocks of the Moscow Trials which exposed Stalinist cruelty and cynicism, prompted the co‑edi­tors to halt publica­tion in 1936.

  • 5  Granville Hicks, “A ‘Nation’ Divided”, New Masses, 35, December 7, 1937, p. 11 and “The Writers’ C (...)

7When Partisan Review resumed its operations the following year, the journal had become independent. The success of Rahv and Phillips and their collaborators and contributors helped to legitimate an anti-Stalinist left, which provoked Harvard’s Granville Hicks, the biographer of John Reed, to accuse a “particular turncoat” named Rahv of “general incompetence as a literary critic”, plus “peculiar unfitness to reviewbooks on the Soviet Union5. Rahv managed to survive this attack in New Masses; and instead of vindicating the honor of the Socialist Mother­land, the monthly, then bimonthly Partisan Review, defended the modernist achievements of Anglican arch-con­servative writer T. S. Eliot, as well as the fiction of Proust, Mann and Joyce. Instead of support­ing a literature reflecting the views of workers, it promoted a cosmopolitanism that honored no social class. The magazine cherished a spirit of estrangement from the crassness of bourgeois culture, and no forum had earned quite so much prestige among Western intelligentsia.

  • 6 Irving Kristol, “Memoirs of a Trotskyist” (1977), in Neoconservatism: The Autobiography ofan Idea, (...)

8Though the subscription list did not exceed ten thousand at the peak of its influence, the journal attracted contributions from leading literati in the United States and Western Europe and became required reading for virtually all who fancied themselves intellectu­als. Among them was a City College undergraduate, Irving Kristol, who remembered poring over “each article at least twice, in a state of awe and exasperation—excited to see such elegance of style and profundity of mind, depressed at the realization that a commoner like myself could never expect to rise into that intellectual aristocracy”. Kristol later propelled himself into the Republican Party, but he was obliged to call “Partisan Review in its heyday. […] unquestionably one of the finest American culturalperiodicals ever published—perhaps even the very finest”. Historian Richard Hofstadter called it “a kind of house organ ofthe American intellectual community”. Art critic Hilton Kramer recalled how special a place the magazine occupied when members of his own generation were drawn to it in the late 1940s and early 1950s. “It was anessential part of our education. […] It gave us an entrée to modern cultural life—to its gravity and complexity and combative character. […] Itconferred upon every subject it encompassed […] an air of intellectualurgency”. The bravura with which the New York Intellectuals operated has not been repeated; their epigoni have tended to be associated not with independent dissidence but with universities and foundations6.

  • 7  J. Hoberman, Vulgar Modernism: Writing on Movies and Other Media, Philadelphia, Temple University (...)

9The Jews affiliated with Partisan Review in the 1930s and 1940s elected a life that prized mental agility and alertness. They did not expect their lives to yield rewards other than the satisfaction of curiosity, the resolution of artistic conundrums, the clarification of the meaning of life, and perhaps (since nearly all were socialists) the pursuit of justice. “Reinventing themselves as a native intelligentsia—street smart, contentious, insecure—the New York Intellectuals used art and literature as an escape from their Jewish marginality”, the critic J. Hoberman has noted, and became the nation’s “first ethnic arbiters of taste and politicaltheory7. Unlike, for example, the Jews who founded the Frankfurt School and who sprang primarily from the middle class of Wilhelmine Germany, the origins of this particular intelligentsia were suitably humble. Bell’s father was a garment worker. The father of the literary critic Alfred Kazin, who became Bell’s brother-in-law, was a house painter. The critic Irving Howe’s father was a grocer and peddler, and in their working-class home was not a single book. The father of the Nobel laureate Saul Bellow was a baker and a bootlegger. The social scientist Nathan Glazer’s family went on welfare in Harlem during the Depression and a decade later his mother, at a loss to describe what her son, the editor and sociologist, did for a living, claimed that he was “in the penbusiness”. Even the father of the fastidious Lionel Trilling, a specialist in Victorian literature, was a wholesale furrier. The younger ones were scarcely better off. Like Sholem Aleichem’s Tevye, the father of Commentary editor Norman Podhoretz delivered milk.

  • 8 Quoted in Alexander Bloom, Prodigal Sons: The New York Intellectuals and Their World, New York, Oxf (...)
  • 9  Woody Allen, Four Films of Woody Allen, New York, Random House, 1982, p. 27.

10Yet a sociological term like “cultural deprivation” was scarcely applicable. No group seemed more engaged with ideas, often for the sake of fathoming the course—if not accelerating the pace—of history. A few, like philosopher Sidney Hook and art historian Meyer Schapiro, got doctorates and teaching positions in New York City before academic antisemitism had hardened in the 1930s. In sensitive fields like literature, graduate school was sometimes beyond reach. “We have room for onlyone Jew”, the future book reviewer and critic Clifton Fadiman was told upon his graduation from Columbia College, “and we have chosen Mr. Trilling”. But the norm seemed to be some formal training, though not enough to complete a Ph. D. That was the pattern for Kazin, Howe, Phillips and Kristol. The doctorates such figures received were honorary or sometimes bestowed upon them for published work well in mid-career, as if to avoid the danger of their turning into mere pedants. As the author of The End of Ideology (1960), Bell received a doctorate in sociology from Columbia University, where he had already been teaching. Having co-authored the classic diagnosis of The Lonely Crowd (1950), Glazer submitted his book on The Social Basis of AmericanCommunism (1961) to fulfill Columbia’s dissertation requirement; he received a doctorate in 1962. Without an advanced degree, Berlin-born Lewis Coser was asked to teach American history at the University of Chicago, which he declined, pleading ignorance. Two weeks later Coser accepted an offer there to teach sociology, though he had not yet begun graduate work in that field8, and in 1954 he joined Howe in co-founding the social-democratic journal Dissent. Its fervor was apparently contagious enough to produce an eventual merger with Commentary; Alvy Singer (Woody Allen) reports in the comedy Annie Hall, forming a new journal entitled Dysentery9.

  • 10  Frederick Crews, “The Partisan”, New York Review of Books, 25, November 23, 1978, p. 5, p. 7-8; Ri (...)
  • 11  Philip Rahv, “The Death of Ivan Ilyich and Joseph K.” (1940), in Literature and the SixthSense, Bo (...)

11Partisan Review helped create a more sophisticated American culture, heightening receptivity to European literature and to the pressures of political change. Its Marxism was subdued, and was revealed most often in the effort to locate writers in their historical and ideolo­gical contexts10. Philip Rahv’s own sensibility had been decisively shaped by Mother Russia—so much so that the poet Delmore Schwartz even nicknamed him “Philip Slav”, and Edmund Wilson nicknamed the journal Partisansky Review. A major contributor like the pragmatist philosopher Sidney Hook could not recall much interest on the part of the two co-editors in the cultural evolution of the United States11. The New York Intellectuals showed suspicion toward the American hinterland, which they associated with nativism, bigotry, and parochialism, as opposed to the cosmopolitanism that these talkers in the city advocated. They felt a sense of superiority—rarely warranted by much direct acquaintance with rural or village America itself—toward all that was not in New York itself. Long before the cartoonist Saul Steinberg’s celebrated New Yorker cover had mocked the puny configurations that the nation assumed west of the Hudson River, these intellectuals were absorbed in making their particular subculture sovereign. The title that Alfred Kazin gave to the third volume of his autobiography was almost defiant in its proclamation: New York Jew.

  • 12 Hugh Wilford, “The Agony of the Avant-Garde: Philip Rahv and the New York Intellectuals”, in David (...)

12They generally ended up as cosmopolitans largely because they mostly stemmed from one ethnic minority. The Jewish wanderer had seemingly become a representative figure in a civilization permeated with estrangement and the sense of exile, just as the Jewish writer was endowed with special sensitivity and insight into the condition of alienation. As intellectuals, such Jews had propelled themselves away from the pious traditions of their immediate ancestors; as Jews, such intellectuals felt themselves outsiders within a Christendom whose foundations were crumbling. Doubly estranged, they therefore specialized in the afflictions of modernity, committed to the ideal of detachment from the institutions of a society believed until the 1950s to be in a state of decomposition. Podhoretz was asked by the editor of another New York magazine “whether there was a special typewriter at Partisan Review with the word ‘alienation’ on a single key12, as though the magazine were in compulsive secession from society.

  • 13 Daniel Bell, “Reflections on Jewish Identity” (1961), in Peter I. Rose, ed., The Ghetto andBeyond: (...)
  • 14  Alan M. Wald, “The New York Literary Left” (1989), in The Responsibility of Intellectuals: Selecte (...)

13With the celebration of ethnic diversity inaugurated in the 1960s, even the New York Intellectuals began to move gingerly toward their own roots; and the peculiarities of Jewish identity could be at least tentatively explored. Already in 1953, Partisan Review had published Isaac Bashevis Singer’s short story, “Gimpel the Fool” (in Bellow’s translation), as well as Trilling’s subtle comparison of the poetry of Wordsworth to the ethos of the rabbis. Irving Howe was already engaged in giving anglophone readers access to other treasures of Yiddish literature, through translations; and his 1976 volume, World of OurFathers, endures as a towering achievement in the historiography of American ethnicity and immigration. His last published piece was a tribute to the memory of the Warsaw ghetto fighters. The literary critic Leslie A. Fiedler regularly contributed to American Judaism in the 1960s, and two of his essay collections, as well as some of his fiction, exhibit a preoccupation with Jewish themes. Bell disclaimed faith but accepted his fate in the procession of generations: “To be a Jew is to be part of a community woven by memory—the memory whose knots are tied by theyizkor [remembrance]”, an articulation of “continuity with those whohave suffered13. Kristol, a former editor of Commentary, not only championed the social utility of religion; he also positioned himself as a spokesman for Judaism in particular. Though one neo-Trotskyist literary historian lamented that intellectuals who had earlier “subscribed to aninternationalist identity“ then “lapsed into either Jewish particularism orIsraeli exceptionalism14, that is an exaggeration. Some made gestures of ethnic return, and some had never really left.

  • 15 Terry A. Cooney, The Rise of the New York Intellectuals: Partisan Review and Its Circle, 1934-1945, (...)

14As a result, their alienation from their origins in the Jewish community now looks less obvious. Though universalist in the æsthetic standards that Partisan Review promoted, the milieu of the editorial office was saturated in “kosher-style” self-mockery, intensity and irony—sometimes extended to Lower East Side delis. Informing the other editors that star contributor Kazin was intending to delve into the fiction of Melville, for example, Rahv could not contain his glee: “I wonder whatAlfred will make of Moby-Dick when he turns all that Jewish schmaltzloose on Captain Ahab and the White Whale”. Such speculation led Delmore Schwartz to leap up, playing a harpooner but shouting at his prey: “Gefilte fish!” Collapsing back into his chair with a giggle, Schwartz managed to make derision delightful. But the readers of the magazine were spared such in-jokes and at the peak of its influence, Jewish motifs and themes were uncommon. Rahv himself rarely explicitly tackled a Jewish subject, and it was exceptional for him to have explained how the novelist Bernard Malamud “fills his ‘Jewishness’ with a positivecontent”. The Jewish dimensions of those writers whom Rahv analyzed, like Franz Kafka or Arthur Koestler, tended to be hitherto unexplored. However far many of these intellectuals propelled themselves from the community and religion that fostered them, they could not efface their birthmarks, which remained obstinately present in their exuberant absorption in learning and in argument, in their elevation of critical standards, in their sensitivity to the tremors of history, in their need to clarify the vision of social justice among a citizenry that has overvalued the practical and material aspects of life15. The failure to confront the Shoah while mass murder was happening is, in retrospect, one of the most puzzling consequences of the cosmopolitanism animating Partisan Review.

  • 16  Philip Rahv, “What and Where is the New Left” (1971), in Arabel Porter and Andrew Dvosin, eds., Es (...)

15Though the journal remained an important organ of thought and taste, the excitement that its editors and contributors conveyed could not be sustained beyond the 1950s. By then, anti-Stalinism had already become orthodoxy in public life and modernism had triumphed in the academy. But Rahv himself was not alone in continuing to speak for critical detachment and for intellectual independence; and even as many other writers and editors were moving to the center and the right, he still invoked an ideal of vaguely radical dissidence. In 1957, he complained that “we are living in a period of renewed national belligerency, when pessimism is again regarded as ‘un-American’ [and] the appeal to ‘the sanely and wholesomely American’ is taken up as a weapon against the moral freedom of literature”. Rahv’s “America […] is far more what its best artists have made it out to be than it is the achieved utopia invoked in our mass media and by officialdom”. He urged writers “not [to] degrade wonder into submission [and] acquiescence16. Rahv remained co-editor of Partisan Review and, by virtually all accounts, was its dominant voice until his resignation in 1969.

  • 17  Alexander Hamilton, John Jay and James Madison, in Edward Mead Earle, ed., The Federalist: A Comme (...)

16His private life was colorful. After living with the novelist and critic Mary McCarthy, Rahv married an architect in 1940, from whom he was divorced in 1955. The next year he married Theodora Jay Still­man, who was a direct descendant of the first Chief Justice of the United States—and a co-author of that highly celebrated and convincing defense of the United States Constitution, the Federalist Papers. Therein, John Jay had claimed that Americans are “descended from the same ancestors, speaking the same language, professing the same religion, attached to the same principles of government, very similar in their manners andcustoms17. That case for homogeneity would be dramatically weakened by the mass immigration that Rahv and the parents of other New York Intellectuals typified; his addition to the family tree manifestly symbolized the social opportunities that America promised.

  • 18  Alan Lelchuk, “Philip Rahv: The Last Years”, in Arthur Edelstein, ed., Images and Ideas in America (...)

17The meaning of his particular career illumines a term like cosmopolitanism, which has so long been taken to be among the most important stigmata of modern Jewish intellectuals. Such an ideal was enormously attractive, and its opposite—often called particularism—was usually seen as a limitation to be surmounted. Yet Rahv lived twice in Palestine in the 1920s. Ecstatic over the victory of the Israel Defense Forces in 1967, he came to express some wistful regret, near the end of his life, at having settled in the United States, sensing that Israel was not only less corrupt than his adopted land, but was also far more faithful to socialist ideals than any Communist power proved to be. Rahv had emigrated from Mandatory Palestine because, ambitious from the start, he sought a more imposing challenge for his literary talents. His collectivist values proved too small when weighed against the size of his personal ambition, but at his death it turned out that Rahv had bequeathed much of his property to the state of Israel18. The suspicion arose that the motive may not have been entirely consistent with Zionist ideology, namely to keep his estate away from his estranged third wife, Betty Thomas McIlvain. But even if that was his motive, any canny trusts lawyer could have found other objects for Rahv’s generosity. What is intriguing is not only how far Rahv had come, or how high he had risen, but also how much of a Jewish sensibility lingered.

  • 19  Quoted in Simon Schama, “Stopping by Woods”, New Republic, 207, October 26, 1992, p. 34; Wald, “Ne (...)

18The term “cosmopolitanism” remains invaluable nevertheless, because it suggests the detachment of the outsider, the capacity to create distance from the environment which others take for granted, a flair for inhabiting time rather than feeling rooted in a particular place. Jews who have lived in the Diaspora have paradigmatically operated with their bags packed, and their history reveals no analogue for the Socratic prefer­ence for suicide over exile. In a common room at Cambridge University, the cosmopolitan biograph­er of the cosmopo­litan Leon Trotsky once disparaged the study of his own “roots”. “Trees have roots”, according to Isaac Deutscher, who was born near Cracow, “Jews have legs“. A term like “cosmopolitanism” therefore need not be retired, even though, according to contemporary cultural studies, it looks too much like a code word “for an elite, Eurocentric patriarchal culture”. That sort of “cosmopolitanism”, historian Alan M. Wald has written, “must also beunderstood as an ideological bridge back to the society that the Partisan editors claimed to oppose19.

  • 20  David A. Hollinger, Post-ethnic America: Beyond Multiculturalism, New York, BasicBooks, 1995, p. 8 (...)

19Nor should the term be confused with “universalism”, historian David Hollinger has pointed out, despite a shared impulse to “look beyond a province or nation to the larger sphere of humankind”. Both terms suggest “a profound suspicion of enclosures”, but they are not synonymous. The cosmopolitan accepts, explores and appreciates diversity. To the universalist, that is an unfortunate phenomenon; and the variety of human organization is merely a historical datum that need not be defended or guaranteed. These divergences may not represent utterly clashing distinctions20, and the contrast between those orientations should not be drawn too sharply.

20The New York Intellectuals managed to lead full and influential lives. Even though stronger Jewish commitments might well have enriched their patrimony too, the ablest of the New York Intellectuals left important traces of their effort to bring critical acuity to the problems of politics and art. Such writers and thinkers cleansed and clarified much of what they touched, and affected the living conversation in which American intellectuals have participated.

Haut de page

Notes

1  Ted Morgan, On Becoming American, Boston, Houghton Mifflin, 1978, p. 291-292.

2 Ibid., p. 110; Theodore Draper, Present History: On Nuclear War, Détente and Other Controversies, New York, Random House, 1983, p. 424.

3  Quoted in Glenn Kaye, “A Certain Simon Schama”, Harvard Magazine, 93, November-December, 1991, p. 51.

4  William F. Buckley, Jr., In Search of Anti-Semitism, New York, Continuum, 1992, p. 6; Peter Steinfels, The Neoconservatives: The Men Who are Changing America’s Politics, New York, Simon & Schuster, 1979, p. 164; Daniel Bell, Letter to the Editor, Encounter, 49, July 1977, p. 96.

5  Granville Hicks, “A ‘Nation’ Divided”, New Masses, 35, December 7, 1937, p. 11 and “The Writers’ Congress”, New Masses, 23, June 15, 1937, p. 8-9.

6 Irving Kristol, “Memoirs of a Trotskyist” (1977), in Neoconservatism: The Autobiography ofan Idea, New York, Free Press, 1995, p. 478-479; Richard Hofstadter, Anti-intellectualism inAmerican Life, New York, Alfred A. Knopf, 1970, p. 394; Hilton Kramer, “Reflections on the History of Partisan Review”, New Criterion, 15, September 1996, p. 20; James Burkhart Gilbert, Writers and Partisans: A History of Literary Radicalism in America, New York, John Wiley & Sons, 1968, p. 188-199; Russell Jacoby, The Last Intellectuals: American Culture in the Age of Academe, New York, Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1987, p. 8-9, p. 12, p. 72-78.

7  J. Hoberman, Vulgar Modernism: Writing on Movies and Other Media, Philadelphia, Temple University Press, 1991, p. 108.

8 Quoted in Alexander Bloom, Prodigal Sons: The New York Intellectuals and Their World, New York, Oxford University Press, 1986, p. 30; Neil Jumonville, Critical Crossings: TheNew York Intellectuals in Postwar America, Berkeley, University of California Press, 1991, p. 57, p. 87, p. 214.

9  Woody Allen, Four Films of Woody Allen, New York, Random House, 1982, p. 27.

10  Frederick Crews, “The Partisan”, New York Review of Books, 25, November 23, 1978, p. 5, p. 7-8; Richard H. Pells, The Liberal Mind in a Conservative Age: American Intellectuals in the 1940s and 1950s,New York, Harper & Row, 1985, p. 72, p. 82-83.

11  Philip Rahv, “The Death of Ivan Ilyich and Joseph K.” (1940), in Literature and the SixthSense, Boston, Houghton Mifflin, 1970, p. 41; James Atlas, Delmore Schwartz: The Life of anAmerican Poet, New York, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1977, p. 98; Sidney Hook, Out of Step:An Unquiet Life in the Twentieth Century, New York, Harper & Row, 1987, p. 512-513.

12 Hugh Wilford, “The Agony of the Avant-Garde: Philip Rahv and the New York Intellectuals”, in David Murray, ed., American Cultural Critics, Exeter, U. K., University of Exeter Press, 1995, p. 35, p. 40-45; James Gilbert, “Introduction to the Morningside Edition”, in Writers and Partisans, New York, Columbia University Press, 1992, p. xi; Norman Podhoretz, Breaking Ranks: A Political Memoir, New York, Harper & Row, 1979, p. 283.

13 Daniel Bell, “Reflections on Jewish Identity” (1961), in Peter I. Rose, ed., The Ghetto andBeyond: Essays on Jewish Life in America, New York, Random House, 1969, p. 469.

14  Alan M. Wald, “The New York Literary Left” (1989), in The Responsibility of Intellectuals: SelectedEssays on Marxist Traditions in Cultural Commitment, Atlantic Highlands, N. J., Humanities Press, 1992, p. 57.

15 Terry A. Cooney, The Rise of the New York Intellectuals: Partisan Review and Its Circle, 1934-1945, Madison, University of Wisconsin Press, 1986, p. 230-245; William Barrett, TheTruants: Adventures among the Intellectuals, Garden City, N. Y., Doubleday, 1982, p. 46-47; Philip Rahv, “A Note on Bernard Malamud” (1967), in Literature and the Sixth Sense, op. cit., p. 281; Irving Howe, World of Our Fathers, New York, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1976, p. 599-606.

16  Philip Rahv, “What and Where is the New Left” (1971), in Arabel Porter and Andrew Dvosin, eds., Essays on Literature and Politics, 1932-1972, Boston, Houghton Mifflin, 1978, 353n, and “Self-Definition in American Literature” (1957), in Norman Podhoretz, ed., The Commentary Reader, New York, Atheneum, 1967, p. 564, p. 566.

17  Alexander Hamilton, John Jay and James Madison, in Edward Mead Earle, ed., The Federalist: A Commentary on theConstitution of the United States, New York, Random House, 1937 [1788], p. 9.

18  Alan Lelchuk, “Philip Rahv: The Last Years”, in Arthur Edelstein, ed., Images and Ideas in American Culture: TheFunctions of Criticism, Hanover, N. H., University Press of New England, 1979, p. 218-219.

19  Quoted in Simon Schama, “Stopping by Woods”, New Republic, 207, October 26, 1992, p. 34; Wald, “New York Literary Left”, in Responsibility of Intellectuals, p. 61.

20  David A. Hollinger, Post-ethnic America: Beyond Multiculturalism, New York, BasicBooks, 1995, p. 83-86.

Haut de page

Pour citer cet article

Référence papier

Stephen J. Whitfield, « The Ethnicity of the New York Intellectuals », Revue LISA/LISA e-journal, Vol. I - n°1 | 2003, 179-189.

Référence électronique

Stephen J. Whitfield, « The Ethnicity of the New York Intellectuals », Revue LISA/LISA e-journal [En ligne], Vol. I - n°1 | 2003, mis en ligne le 19 novembre 2009, consulté le 19 octobre 2019. URL : http://journals.openedition.org/lisa/3134 ; DOI : 10.4000/lisa.3134

Haut de page

Auteur

Stephen J. Whitfield

(Brandeis University, USA)
Stephen J. Whitfield holds the Max Richter Chair in American Civilization at Brandeis University, where he has taught since 1972. He has also served as Fulbright Visiting Professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (1983-1984) and at the Catholic University of Leuven and of Louvain-la-Neuve in Belgium (1993). He has twice served as Visiting Professor in American Studies at the Sorbonne (University of Paris IV). He is the author of eight books and numerous articles and reviews, and in 1993 also received his university’s Louis D. Brandeis Prize for Excellence in Teaching.

Articles du même auteur

Haut de page

Droits d’auteur

Licence Creative Commons
Les contenus de la Revue LISA / LISA e-journal sont mis à disposition selon les termes de la licence Creative Commons Attribution - Pas d'Utilisation Commerciale - Pas de Modification 4.0 International.

Haut de page
  • OpenEdition Journals