Memoirs of a Revolutionist : Essays in Political Criticism by Dwight Macdonald
New York : Farrar, Straus and Cudahy, 1957. First printing. Hardcover. 376 pages ; 20 cm. $4.75 dust jacket. A few minor rips and tears to jacket edges and side edge otherwise a nice jacket design by famed artist Jack Reich. Pages are clean and unmarked. Binding is firm.
MEMOIRS OF A REVOLUTIONIST
Essays in Political Criticism by DWIGHT MACDONALD
In this volume, Dwight Macdonald, one of our liveliest intellectual journalists, has gathered together the best of his political writing. Most writers on politics are either reporters, propagandists, or inside-dopesters. Mr. Macdonald is after something else—to get at the real meaning, in human and cultural terms, of the great events of our time. We have many literary and dramatic critics, but Mr. Macdonald is something novel—a political critic, writing with wit and passion about everything from the myth of war guilt to the subversive nature of McCarthyism, from Mr. Henry Luce's stillborn project for a highbrow magazine to General George Patterns pearl-handled revolvers.
The articles in this book are arranged in six sections. The Responsibility of Peoples includes the well-known essay by that title as well as "Notes on the Psychology of Killing" and "My Favorite General." Looking at the War is a series of articles published in the authors own magazine, Politics, between 1943 and 1948, which provide a running comment—highly unorthodox, disrespectful, and penetrating—on events from the landings in Africa to the atom bomb and the Truman Doctrine. The Cultural Front includes "Bureaucratic Culture, Nicholas I to Joseph I" and "Kulturbol-shewismus—the Brooks-MacLeish Thesis." Political Pathology considers the semantics and the ideas of liberals, Communists, Trotskyists, and the "neo-non-conservatives." Profiles of Dorothy Day and Mohandas Gandhi are included in Saints, and "The Question of God" is discussed in the closing section, By The Way. In addition there is a long introductory piece, Politics Past, a lively autobiographical note on left-wing activity during the past twenty years.
DWIGHT MACDONALD was born in New York City in 1906, went to Phillips Exeter Academy and Yale, and has been successively connected with Fortune (1929-1936), Partisan Review 1937-1943), Politics (which he founded, edited, and wrote extensively for from 1944 to 1949), and The New Yorker. He is currently on a year's leave from The New Yorker, living in London and writing for Encounter. He has published two books, Henry Wallace, the Man and the Myth (1948) and The Ford Foundation (1956). Except for six months in the Executive Training Squad at R. H. Macy's immediately after graduating from Yale in 1928 and three months teaching at Northwestern University, he has done nothing but write since his first story, "Sir Harry," a sword-and-spur romance, was printed in the Phillips Exeter Monthly in 1923. He has written about Sherwood Ander-son, the U. S. Steel Corporation, the Soviet cinema, Marxism, Howtoism, the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, and other topics.
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