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A Voice Still HeardSelected Essays of Irving Howe$
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Irving Howe and Nina Howe

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780300203660

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300203660.001.0001

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The New York Intellectuals {1969}

The New York Intellectuals {1969}

(p.83) The New York Intellectuals {1969}
A Voice Still Heard

Irving Howe

Yale University Press

This chapter presents Irving Howe's 1969 essay “The New York Intellectuals,” in which he talks about the New York Intellectuals, a group of writers and literary critics based in New York City in the mid-twentieth century. Howe first traces the social roots of this group to the immigrant Jews in the 1930s, but suggests that Jewishness as idea and sentiment played no significant role in the intellectuals' expectations. He then describes many instances in which Jewish intellectuals played an important role in the development of political radicalism, and how this radicalism helped destroy Stalinism as a force in American intellectual life. He also comments on the New York intellectuals' attitudes toward socialist politics, literary modernism, mass culture, and Communism. Howe ends his essay by explaining how McCarthyism brought into question the role of the intellectuals.

Keywords:   writers, literary critics, New York Intellectuals, New York City, Jews, radicalism, Stalinism, literary modernism, Communism, McCarthyism

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