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Partisans: Marriage, Politics, and Betrayal Among the New York Intellectuals
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Partisans: Marriage, Politics, and Betrayal Among the New York Intellectuals

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3.42  ·  Rating Details  ·  24 Ratings  ·  6 Reviews
An illuminating portrait of the writers who dominated New York intellectual life from the 1930s through the 1960s--and of a complex tangle of literature, politics, and passion that drove this group of friends, rivals, and lovers. of photos.
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published January 6th 2000 by Simon & Schuster (first published 2000)
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Eric
Dec 01, 2008 Eric rated it liked it
Shelves: lurid, men-of-letters
I didn't expect this to be so moving. Very, very engaging. Laskin also makes want to read more Robert Lowell, and builds a convincing case that Mary McCarthy is my hero. The pictures and anecdotes he marshalls of Hannah Arendt make her sound downright sexy.

"Despite Lowell's determination to be 'surrounded by Catholics,' the couple instantly got swept up into the fast, loud current of atheist-Jewish-Marxist-hard-drinking-fast-talking literary New York. Philip Rahv and Nathalie Swan took a shine
...more
June
Dec 06, 2007 June rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
David Laskin usually writes books about the weather...So a book about New York intellectuals, albeit a SLIM volume, seems a bit of a stretch...Laskin writes in the introduction that the women in the Partisan crowd, Mary McCarthy, Jean Stafford, Elizabeth Hardwick, Hannah Arendt and Diana Trilling, were "the last generation before feminism." This is the overarching theme of the book. These women didn't need feminism and ridiculed "women's lib." Hmmm.... why is it suspect when a MAN writes a book ...more
Mitchell
May 26, 2014 Mitchell rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
It's a very lightweight, gossipy book about a lightweight, gossipy group. The Partisan Review crowd and those in their orbit were never as important to anyone else as they were to themselves. Seek out Alan Wald's New York Intellectuals for a more substantive exploration of their writing and ideas. But history has not been kind to either. Their ideas about culture and politics mirror the greatest confusions of their eras, not the analyses that transcended them. For example, the women of the group ...more
Rj
Apr 06, 2014 Rj rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I must admit that I mind this relentless defoliation (or deforestation) process. As though to grow old does not mean, as Goethe said, ‘gradual withdrawal from appearance’-which I do not mind-but the gradual (or rather sudden) transformation of a world with familiar faces (no matter, foe or friend) into a kind of desert, populated by strange faces. In other works, it is not me who withdraws but the world that dissolves-an altogether different proposition.”
Hannah Arendt in a letter to Mary McCarth
...more
Jessica
Jul 30, 2007 Jessica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My continued hunger for knowledge about the New York Intellectuals was sated with this book; well-researched and entertaining. Damn, those kids could drink!
Kelly
Mar 21, 2007 Kelly rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: modernists, Marxists, and people who want to feel better about themselves
Shelves: non-fiction
intellectuals lead incredibly dysfunctional lives.
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92055
Born in Brooklyn and raised in Great Neck, New York, I grew up hearing stories that my immigrant Jewish grandparents told about the “old country” (Russia) that they left at the turn of the last century. When I was a teenager, my mother’s parents began making yearly trips to visit our relatives in Israel, and stories about the Israeli family sifted down to me as well. What I never heard growing up ...more
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“Despite Lowell's determination to be 'surrounded by Catholics,' the couple instantly got swept up into the fast, loud current of atheist-Jewish-Marxist-hard-drinking-fast-talking literary New York. Philip Rahv and Nathalie Swan took a shine to Lowell and Stafford, and soon they were getting invited to the Rahv's combative, whiskey-soaked parties.” 2 likes
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