Contents


All in the Family

Jack: The Struggles of John F. Kennedy by Herbert S. Parmet

Kennedy and Roosevelt: The Uneasy Alliance by Michael R. Beschloss

New York Poets

The Burning Mystery of Anna in 1951 by Kenneth Koch

The Morning of the Poem by James Schuyler

Sunrise by Frederick Seidel

Trader by Robert Mazzocco

Contributors

Robert M. Adams (1915-1996) was a founding editor of the Norton Anthology of English Literature. He taught at the University of Wisconsin, Rutgers, Cornell and U.C.L.A. His scholarly interested ranged from Milton to Joyce, and his translations of many classic works of French literature continue to be read to this day.

Renata Adler was born in Milan and raised in Connecticut. She received a B.A. from Bryn Mawr, an M.A. from Harvard, a D.d’E.S. from the Sorbonne, a J.D. from Yale Law School, and an LL.D. (honorary) from Georgetown. Adler became a staff writer at The New Yorker in 1963 and, except for a year as the chief film critic of The New York Times, remained at The New Yorker for the next four decades. Her books include A Year in the Dark (1969); Toward a Radical Middle (1970); Reckless Disregard: Westmoreland v. CBS et al., Sharon v. Time (1986); Canaries in the Mineshaft (2001); Gone: The Last Days of The New Yorker (1999); Irreparable Harm: The U.S. Supreme Court and The Decision That Made George W. Bush President (2004); and the novels Speedboat (1976; winner of the Ernest Hemingway Award for Best First Novel) and Pitch Dark (1983).

Neal Ascherson is the author of The Struggles for Poland, The Black Sea, and Stone Voices: The Search for Scotland. He is an Honorary Professor at the Institute of Archaeology, University College London.


Denis Donoghue is University Professor at New York University, where he holds the Henry James Chair of English and American Letters. His works include The Practice of Reading, Words Alone: The Poet T.S. Eliot, and The American Classics.

Irving Howe (1920–1993) was an American literary and social critic. His history of Eastern-European Jews in America, World of Our Fathers, won the 1977 National Book Award in History.

Lincoln Kirstein (1907–1996) was a writer and ballet critic. In 1946, together with George Balanchine, Kirstein founded the Ballet Society, which would soon be renamed The New York City Ballet. In 1984 he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Czeslaw Milosz (1911–2004) was born in Szetejnie, Lithuania. Over the course of his long and prolific career he published works in many genres, including criticism (The Captive Mind), fiction (The Issa Valley), memoir (Native Realm), and poetry (New and Collected Poems, 1931-2001). He was a member of the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters and was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1980.

Robert O. Paxton is Mellon Professor of Social Sciences Emeritus at Columbia. His books include Vichy France: Old Guard and New Order, 1940–1944 and, with Michael R. Marrus, Vichy France and the Jews.


V.S. Pritchett (1900–1997) was a British essayist, novelist and short story writer. He worked as a foreign correspondent for the The Christian Science Monitorand as a literary critic forNew Statesman. In 1968 Pritchett was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire; he was knighted in 1975. His body of work includes many collections of short stories, in addition to travelogues, reviews, literary biographies and novels.

Alastair Reid is a poet, a prose chronicler, a translator, and a traveler. Born in Scotland, he came to the United States in the early 1950s, began publishing his poems in The New Yorker in 1951, and for the next fifty-odd years was a traveling correspondent for that magazine. Having lived in both Spain and Latin America for long spells, he has been a constant translator of poetry from the Spanish language, in particular the work of Jorge Luis Borges and Pablo Neruda. He has published more than forty books, among them a wordbook for children, Ounce Dice Trice, with drawings by Ben Shahn. Most recently, in 2008, he published in the U.K. two career-spanning volumes, Outside In: Selected Prose and Inside Out: Selected Poetry and Translations. The substance of Supposing… e gleaned from the many children who have influenced him, to all of whom he owes and dedicates the text.

Gershom Scholem (1897-1982) was born in Berlin, educated at the universities of Jena and Bern, and emigrated to Palestine in 1923, where he devoted himself to the study of the Jewish mystical tradition and the Kabbala. One of the greatest scholars of the twentieth century, admired both for his philological prowess and his philosophical insight, Scholem was the author of many books, including Major Trends in Jewish Mysticism, On the Kabbalah and Its Symbolism, Sabbatai Sevi: The Mystical Messiah, and On Jews and Judaism in Crisis, a collection of autobiographical writings and essays on Zionism. The Correspondence of Gershom Scholem and Walter Benjamin and Gershom Scholem: A Life in Letters were published posthumously.

Thomas Sheehan is Professor of Religious Studies at Stanford University. (December 2001)

Stephen Spender (1909–1995) was an English poet and essayist. As a young man, he became friends with W.H. Auden, Louis MacNeice, Cecil Day-Lewis, and Christopher Isherwood, a loose collection often referred to as “the Auden Group” or “MacSpaunday.” He published many collections of poems, including The Still Centre and Ruins and Visions, and numerous volumes of nonfiction and other works, including Learning Laughterand Love-Hate Relations.

Ronald Steel is Professor of International Relations at the University of Southern California, a recent fellow at the American Academy in Berlin, and the author of biographies of Walter Lippmann and Robert Kennedy.

Robert Towers (1923–1995) was an American critic and novelist. Born in Virginia, Towers was educated at Princeton and served for two years as Vice Counsel at the American Consulate General in Calcutta before dedicating himself to literary studies. He taught English literature and creative writing at Princeton, Queens College and Columbia.

Edmund Wilson (1895-1972) is widely regarded as the preeminent American man of letters of the twentieth century. Over his long career, he wrote for Vanity Fair, helped edit The New Republic, served as chief book critic for The New Yorker, and was a frequent contributor to The New York Review of Books. Wilson was the author of more than twenty books, including Axel’s Castle, Patriotic Gore, and a work of fiction, Memoirs of Hecate County.