The New York Intellectuals, Thirtieth Anniversary Edition

The Rise and Decline of the Anti-Stalinist Left from the 1930s to the 1980s

Thirtieth Anniversary Edition

By Alan M. Wald

With a new preface by the author

504 pp., 6 x 9, 31 halftones, notes, bibl., index

  • Paperback ISBN: 978-1-4696-3594-1
    Published: October 2017
  • eBook ISBN: 978-1-4696-3595-8
    Published: October 2017

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For a generation, Alan M. Wald's The New York Intellectuals has stood as the authoritative account of an often misunderstood chapter in the history of a celebrated tradition among literary radicals in the United States. His passionate investigation of over half a century of dissident Marxist thought, Jewish internationalism, fervent political activism, and the complex art of the literary imagination is enriched by more than one hundred personal interviews, unparalleled primary research, and critical interpretations of novels and short stories depicting the inner lives of committed writers and thinkers. Wald's commanding biographical portraits of rebel outsiders who mostly became insiders retains its resonance today and includes commentary on Max Eastman, Elliot Cohen, Lionel Trilling, Sidney Hook, Tess Slesinger, Philip Rahv, Mary McCarthy, James T. Farrell, Irving Kristol, Irving Howe, Hannah Arendt, and more. With a new preface by the author that tracks the rebounding influence of these intellectuals in the era of Occupy and Bernie Sanders, this anniversary edition shows that the trajectory and ideological ordeals of the New York intellectual Left still matters today.

About the Author

Alan M. Wald is Emeritus H. Chandler Davis Collegiate Professor of English at the University of Michigan.
For more information about Alan M. Wald, visit the Author Page.


"Wald's grasp of the ideological twists and turns of his protagonists is first-rate. . . . His story has an epic sweep."--The Village Voice

"Wald has written a valuable book about the ''political trajectory'' of this country's leading intellectuals over the past 50 years. It is well-researched, insightful and extremely opinionated. It deserves a wide audience."--The New York Times Book Review

"The best informed and most hard-hitting account of a group--the 'New York intellectuals"-- central to twentieth-century intellectual life and politics in America. Without sharing Wald's fervent politics, I am full of admiration for his knowledge."--Alfred Kazin

"An impressive piece of investigative reporting, full of facts about neglected and forgotten figures--not to mention some more familiar ones. It outdistances the current spate of books and articles on that imperfectly defined subject and sets a high standard for scholarship in its wake. It deserves wide attention."--Daniel Aaron, Harvard University