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- DescriptionA New York Review Books Original. Political radical, trenchant essayist, and impresario of the New York Intellectuals, Dwight MacDonald was one of the towering figures of twentieth century American letters. In Masscult & Midcult: Essays Against the American Grain, first published in 1962, MacDonald turned his formidable critical attention to what he saw as a new, and potentially catastrophic, development in the history of Western civilization: the influence-by turns distorting, destructive, and inadvertently ridiculous-of mass culture on high culture. In essays that range in subject matter from Ernest Hemingway, James Agee, and Tom Wolfe to Webster's Dictionary and the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, MacDonald is shrewd, passionate, and bracingly alive to the complexities of his subject, which he defines as being t the dead sea of masscult but rather the life of the tide line where higher and lower organisms compete for survival. Prescient, profound, at once scathing and hilarious in their indictment of the middlebrow sensibility, the pieces in this volume constitute an indispensable work of criticism born out of and informed by the conviction that a people that loses contact with its past becomes culturally psychotic.
- Author BiographyDwight MacDonald (1906-1982) was an American writer, editor, critic, and political gadfly. A prominent member of the group known as the New York Intellectuals, he served as the editor of first Partisan Review and his journal Politics. He later became a staff writer for The New Yorker, Esquire's film critic, and a frequent contributor to The New York Review of Books. John Summers writes and lectures widely on American history and culture. Louis Menand is the Robert M. and Anne T. Bass Professor of English and American Literature and Language at Harvard University, and a staff writer at The New Yorker. He is the author of The Metaphysical Club-which won the Pulitzer Prize for History and the Francis Parkman Prize in 2002-and of American Studies, a collection of essays.
- Author(s)Dwight MacDonald
- PublisherThe New York Review of Books, Inc
- Date of Publication22/11/2011
- SubjectPopular Culture & Media: General Interest
- Place of PublicationNew York
- Country of PublicationUnited States
- ImprintNYRB Classics
- Weight331 g
- Width128 mm
- Height204 mm
- Spine17 mm
- Edited byJohn Summers
- Introduction byLouis Menand
- Edition StatementMain
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