Louis Menand is the Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Professor of English at Harvard. His books include The Marketplace of Ideas, American Studies and The Metaphysical Club.
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.
The great critic’s masterwork makes a case for the necessity of the imaginative works in a society ever more worshipful of the liberal ideals of rationality and progress. “Trilling…shows how criticism, written with grace, style, and a self-questioning cast of mind, can itself become a form of literature, as well as a valuable contribution to how we think about society.—Morris Dickstein
Written in a fine clear style that is not in the least dated, Memoirs of Hecate County deserves to stand among the finest accomplishments of twentieth-century American fiction.