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Irving Howe: A Life of Passionate Dissent

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en Limba Engleză Hardback – 2003

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By the time he died in 1993 at the age of 73, Irving Howe was one of the twentieth century's most important public thinkers. Deeply passionate, committed to social reform and secular Jewishness, ardently devoted to fiction and poetry, in love with baseball, music, and ballet, Howe wrote with such eloquence and lived with such conviction that his extraordinary work is now part of the canon of American social thought. In the first comprehensive biography of Howe's life, historian Gerald Sorin brings us close to this man who rose from Jewish immigrant poverty in the 1930s to become one of the most provocative intellectuals of our time. Known most widely for his award-winning book World of Our Fathers, a rich portrayal of the East European Jewish experience in New York, Howe also won acclaim for his prodigious output of illuminating essays on American culture and as an indefatigable promoter of democratic socialism as can be seen in the pages of Dissent, the journal he edited for nearly forty years. Deeply devoted to the ideal of democratic radicalism and true equality, Howe was constantly engaged in a struggle for decency and basic fairness in the face of social injustice. In the century of Auschwitz, the Gulag, and global inter-ethnic mass murder, it was difficult to sustain political certainties and take pride in one's humanity. To have lived a life of conviction and engagement in that era was a notable achievement. Irving Howe lived such a life and Gerald Sorin has done a masterful job of guiding us through it in all its passion and complexity.
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ISBN-13: 9780814798218
ISBN-10: 0814798217
Pagini: 386
Ilustrații: b&w photographs
Dimensiuni: 172 x 224 x 31 mm
Greutate: 0.72 kg
Ediția: New.


"Sorin does a solid and convincing job of chronicling Howe's life and times."—The Jewish Quarterly Review "Irving Howe: A Life of Passionate Dissent offers such an intellectually detailed and conceptually animated account of Howe's work. Sorin did an excellent job."—Magill's Literary Annual "In this crisply written and well-conceived biography, Sorin captures the essence of these commitments—one to Jewish culture, one to political activism, and one to literary criticism. Sorin offer[s] a compelling, informative, and balanced account of a leading icon of the New York intellectuals."—The Journal of American History "Sorin's biography summarizes Howe's important writings and covers his life in a carefully documented way."
— American Jewish World"Sorin has given coherence to a complex life, showing that it was Howe's willingness to grapple with his own contradictions that made his intellectual journey so revealing of its place and time."
—Times Literary Supplement "Sorin portrays Howe the tough political fighter alongside the brilliant writer and generous friend...Sorin has built a solid portrait of the writer and critic...he does a very good job of illuminating the relationship between politics and literature in Howe's intellectual life, particularly the way in which his socialism was informed by his reading of Yiddish literature."
—New York Times Book Review "In this fine biography, Gerald Sorin shows us why we need more Irving Howes today. Sorin traces the shifts and turns in a life that wound up creating one of America's most thoughtful leftists…. A complexity of political views, a tension-ridden intellectual life (rather than academic careerism), an ability to criticize while remaining humane—these are things we need a lot more of today. For reminding us of this, we have not just Irving Howe but Gerald Sorin to thank.”
—The Washington Post "What Sorin has accomplished in this beautifully written, balanced and probing intellectual biography is the most complete picture we have of Howe, a portrait of how one Jewish intellectual and activist struggled daily to balance scholarship and politics and the life of the mind and a life of action. . . . Sorin has ably captured the life and passion of this most unusual man, whose commitment to democracy is a legacy still worth cherishing.”
—Los Angeles Times "Sorin skillfully captures the illuminating fire of Howe's convictions, conflicts, and achievements. [His] deep understanding of Howe's belief in intelligent public discourse...enables him not only to portray a great intellectual but also to encapsulate a key era in American politics."
—Booklist "This is an important first step in re-examining a major intellectual and should serve as a springboard for more in-depth and balanced evaluations."
— Publishers Weekly "Irving Howe: A Life of Passionate Dissent is a thoroughly researched, warmly delivered biography of a man who was the soul of mid-century intellectual life in America."
— The Observer"Well-researched biography . . . . Sorin seems to have spoken to everybody who knew Howe."
—The Independent "Sorin, a professor at CUNY-New Paltz, excellently details the three guiding elements of Howe's life: politics, literature and Judaism."—Flak Magazine "Sorin here presents a richly detailed life of insightful and comprehensive biography."
—Library Journal ”Gerald Sorin’s intelligent, sympathetic, and engaging biography of Irving Howe is very fine intellectual history.”
—Eli Lederhendler, The Hebrew University

Notă biografică

Gerald Sorin is Distinguished Professor of History and Director of Jewish Studies at SUNY New Paltz. His most recent book is "Tradition Transformed: The Jewish Experience in America."