Alfred Kazin

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Alfred Kazin (June 5, 1915 – June 5, 1998) was an American writer and literary critic, many of whose writings depicted the immigrant experience in early twentieth century America.

Early life[edit]

Like many of the other New York Intellectuals, Alfred Kazin was a Jew[1] born in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn and a graduate of the City College of New York. However, his politics were more moderate than most of the New York Intellectuals, many of whom were socialists.

Career[edit]

Kazin was deeply affected by his peers' subsequent disillusion with liberalism. Adam Kirsch writes in The New Republic that "having invested his romantic self-image in liberalism, Kazin perceived abandonment of liberalism by his peers as an attack on his identity".[2]

He wrote out of a great passion—or great disgust—for what he was reading and embedded his opinions in a deep knowledge of history, both literary history and politics and culture. In 1996 he was awarded the first Truman Capote Lifetime Achievement Award in Literary Criticism, which carries a cash reward of $100,000.[3] The only other person to have won the award is George Steiner.

Personal life[edit]

One of Kazin's close friends throughout his life was Hannah Arendt.[citation needed]

His son is historian and Dissent co-editor Michael Kazin. His daughter is Cathrael Kazin, Chief Academic Officer of College for America at Southern New Hampshire University.


Bibliography[edit]

Author[edit]

Editor (selected)[edit]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Garner, Dwight (May 26, 2011). "A Lifetime of Anxiety and Lust". New York Times. Retrieved 17 August 2012. 
  2. ^ Kirsch, Adam (October 26, 2011). "The Inner Clamor". The New Republic. Retrieved 17 August 2012. 
  3. ^ "First Capote Award Goes to Alfred Kazin". New York Times. January 10, 1996. Retrieved 17 August 2012.