Terry A. Cooney traces the evolution of the Partisan Review—often considered to be the most influential little magazine ever published in America—during its formative years, giving a lucid and dispassionate view of the magazine and its luminaries who played a leading role in shaping the public discourse of American intellectuals. Included are Lionel Trilling, Philip Rahv, William Phillips, Dwight Macdonald, F. W. Dupee, Mary McCarthy, Sidney Hook, Harold Rosenberg, and Delmore Schwartz, among others.
“An excellent book, which works at each level on which it operates. It succeeds as a straightforward narrative account of the Partisan Review in the 1930s and 1940s. The magazine’s leading voices—William Phillips, Philip Rahv, Dwight MacDonald, Lionel Trilling, and all the rest—receive their due. . . . Among the themes that engage Cooney. . . . are: how they dealt with ‘modernism’ in culture and radicalism in politics, each on its own and in combination; how Jewishness played a complex and fascinating role in many of the thinkers’ lives; and, especially, how ‘cosmopolitanism’ best explains what the Partisan Review was all about.”—Robert Booth Fowler, Journal of American History