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Coming of Age With the New Republic, 1938-1950

by Merrill D. Peterson

  • ISBN: 9780826212573
  • ISBN10: 0826212573

Coming of Age With the New Republic, 1938-1950

by Merrill D. Peterson

  • List Price: $35.00
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: Univ of Missouri Pr
  • Publish date: 11/01/1999
  • ISBN: 9780826212573
  • ISBN10: 0826212573
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Description: In this absorbing memoir, Merrill D. Peterson progresses from a young Kansas Republican to a "Left liberal, " reconstructing how the New Republic singularly influenced his intellectual development and academic career during some of the most turbulent years in American history -- the final years of the depression through World War II and the early years of the cold war. Peterson recalls how, as a young man, he was guided to intellectual maturity by such extraordinary individuals as Max Lerner, Archibald MacLeish, Alfred Kazin, Pearl Buck, and Malcolm Cowley -- all contributors to this important magazine. We look back, with Peterson, and see how their views are inextricably reflected in his own developing worldview.

Peterson was introduced to this liberal magazine by one of his teachers during his senior year of high school (1938-1939). For the next ten years, the magazine served as his principal guide to the politics and culture of the times. Now, at seventy-eight years of age, Peterson reexamines the magazine as it appeared to him during those early, impressionable years. With considerable skill and charm, Peterson weaves together the new readings, the history of the country during the 1940s, and his own personal history to give us the heart of the book. In addition, he includes brief essays on Vernon L. Parrington, Lewis Mumford, and Max Lerner, the three New Republic writers he believes had the most influence on him.

Peterson discusses several turning points in his young life, but he focuses primarily on his education and the major role the magazine played in it. The book concludes when Peterson accepts his first academic appointment, at Brandeis University, and approaches thepublication of his first book. Thus, a critical chapter in his life comes to a close.

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