Irving Howe : biography
Irving Howe ( June 11, 1920 – May 5, 1993) was an American literary and social critic and a prominent figure of the Democratic Socialists of America.
Since his CCNY days, Howe was committed to left-wing politics. He was a committed democratic socialist throughout his life. He was a member of the Young People's Socialist League and then Max Shachtman's Workers Party. In 1948, he joined the Independent Socialist League where he was a key leader. He left this movement in the early 1950s. At the request of his friend Michael Harrington, he helped co-found the Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee in the early 1970s. DSOC merged into the Democratic Socialists of America in 1982, with Howe as a vice-chair. He was a vociferous opponent of both Soviet totalitarianism and McCarthyism, called into question standard Marxist doctrine, and came into conflict with the New Left after criticizing their unmitigated radicalism. Later in life, his politics gravitated toward more pragmatic democratic socialism and foreign policy, a position still represented in the emphatically nuanced political and social arguments of Dissent. Throughout his life he was attacked and challenged due to his socialist beliefs. He has had a few famous run-ins with people. In the 1960s while at Stanford University he was verbally attacked by a young radical socialist who claimed that Howe was no longer committed to the revolution and that he had become status quo. Howe turned to the student and said "You know what you're going to be? You're going to be a dentist."
Books and pamphlets
- , New York, N.Y. : Workers Party Campaign Committee, 1946.
- , Long Island City, N.Y. : Published by Workers Party Publications for the Workers Party of the United States 1947.
- The UAW and Walter Reuther, with B. J. Widick. New York, Random House, 1949.
- Sherwood Anderson, New York, Sloane, 1951.
- William Faulkner, a critical study, New York, Random House, 1952.
- The American Communist Party, a critical history, 1919-1957, with Lewis Coser with the assistance of Julius Jacobson. Boston, Beacon Press, 1957.
- Politics and the novel, New York, Horizon Press, 1957.
- The Jewish Labor Movement in America: two views., with Israel Knox New York, Jewish Labor Committee, 1957.
- Edith Wharton, a collection of critical essays, Englewood Cliffs, N.J., Prentice-Hall 1962
- Poverty : views from the left, with Jeremy Larner New York : Apollo, 1962.
- A world more attractive; a view of modern literature and politics., New York, Horizon Press, 1963.
- Sherwood Anderson's Winesburg, Ohio, Washington, DC : Voice of America, 1964. American novel series #14.
- New styles in "leftism.", New York, League for Industrial Democracy, 1965.
- On the nature of communism and relations with communists, New York, League for Industrial Democracy, 1966.
- Steady work; essays in the politics of democratic radicalism, 1953-1966., New York, Harcourt, Brace & World, 1966.
- Thomas Hardy, New York, Macmillan, 1967.
- The idea of the modern in literature and the arts, New York, Horizon Press, 1967.
- Literary modernism., Greenwich, Conn., Fawcett Publications, 1967.
- Student activism., Indianapolis, Bobbs-Merrill, 1967.
- Shoptalk : an instructor's manual for Classics of modern fiction : eight short novels editor, New York : Harcourt, Brace & World, 1968.
- Beyond the new left, New York, McCall Pub. Co., 1970. ISBN 0-8415-0021-5
- Decline of the new, New York, Harcourt, Brace & World, 1970
- The critical point, on literature and culture, New York, Horizon Press, 1973
- World of our fathers; the journey of the East European Jews to America and the life they found and made , New York : Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1976
- New perspectives: the diaspora and Israel, with Matityahu Peled New York : Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1976
- Trotsky, London : Fontana Modern Masters, 1978
- Leon Trotsky, New York : Viking Press, 1978
- Celebrations and attacks : thirty years of literary and cultural commentary, New York : Horizon Press, 1979. ISBN 0-8180-1176-9
- The threat of conservatism with Gus Tyler and Peter Steinfels, New York, N.Y. : Foundation for the Study of Independent Social Ideas, 1980.
- The making of a critic, Bennington, Vt. : Bennington College, 1982. Ben Belitt lectureship series, #5.
- A Margin of Hope: An intellectual Autobiography, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1982. ISBN 0-15-157138-4.
- Socialism and America, San Diego : Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1985.
- The American newness: culture and politics in the age of Emerson, Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press, 1986.
- American Jews and liberalism with Michael Walzer, Leonard Fein and Mitchell Cohen, New York, N.Y. : Foundation for the Study of Independent Social Ideas, 1986.
- The return of terrorism, Bronx, N.Y.: Lehman College of the City University of New York, 1989. Herbert H. Lehman memorial lecture Lehman College publications, #22.
- Selected writings, 1950-1990 San Diego: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1990.
- A critic's notebook edited and introduced by Nicholas Howe, New York: Harcourt Brace, 1994.
- The end of Jewish secularism, New York: Hunter College of the City University of New York, 1995. Occasional papers in Jewish history and thought, #1.
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