Alfred Kazin: A Biography
Born in 1915 to barely literate Jewish immigrants in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn, Alfred Kazin rose from near poverty to become a dominant figure in twentieth-century literary criticism and one of America’s last great men of letters. Biographer Richard M. Cook provides a portrait of Kazin in his public roles and in his frequently unhappy private life. Drawing on th...more
Hardcover, 464 pages
Published January 28th 2008 by Yale University Press
(first published January 28th 2007)
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At the end of Alfred Kazin: A Biography, Richard Cook describes how a year after his death Kazin's family walked to the center of the Brooklyn Bridge and dropped his ashes into the East River midway between his beloved Brooklyn and his beloved Manhattan. This touched me. What better gesture to honor this giant of criticism who loved America and literature than to locate him finally in such a powerfully symbolic spot of American letters as that evoking the likes of Walt Whitman and Hart Crane. I'...more
Feb 13, 2008 Jessica rated it 4 of 5 stars Recommends it for: Biography-lovers; enthusiasts of the NY Intellecuals
Engaging and well-researched biography of Kazin, another figure in the New York intellectual scene, and Mary McCarthy's friend/rival. Useful for fleshing out one's understanding of that group, their beliefs, and the period in which they lived.