Dwight Macdonald (1906–1982) was born in New York City and educated at Exeter and Yale. On graduating from college, he enrolled in Macy’s executive training program, but soon left to work for Henry Luce at Time and Fortune, quitting in 1936 because of cuts that had been made to an article he had written criticizing U.S. Steel. From 1937 to 1943, Macdonald was an editor of Partisan Review and in 1944, he started a journal of his own, Politics, whose contributors included Albert Camus, Victor Serge, Simone Weil, Bruno Bettelheim, James Agee, John Berryman, Meyer Schapiro, and Mary McCarthy. In later years, Macdonald reviewed books for The New Yorker, movies for Esquire, and wrote frequently for The New York Review of Books.
Essayist and provocateur Dwight Macdonald was not afraid to slay sacred cows, and he did so with glee. In this newly gathered collection, Macdonald takes on Ernest Hemingway, James Agee, Tom Wolfe, Webster’s Dictionary, the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, and, most famously, the possibly pernicious ascendancy of popular culture.