Front cover image for The 40s : the story of a decade

The 40s : the story of a decade

Henry Finder (Editor), Giles Harvey (Editor), David Remnick (Writer of introduction)
Including contributions by W. H. Auden - Elizabeth Bishop - John Cheever - Janet Flanner - John Hersey - Langston Hughes - Shirley Jackson - A. J. Liebling - William Maxwell - Carson McCullers - Joseph Mitchell - Vladimir Nabokov - Ogden Nash - John O'Hara - George Orwell - V. S. Pritchett - Lillian Ross - Stephen Spender - Lionel Trilling - Rebecca West - E. B. White - Williams Carlos Williams - Edmund Wilson And featuring new perspectives by Joan Acocella - Hilton Als - Dan Chiasson - David Denby - Jill Lepore - Louis Menand - Susan Orlean - George Packer - David Remnick - Alex Ross - Peter Schjeldahl - Zadie Smith - Judith Thurman The 1940s are the watershed decade of the twentieth century, a time of trauma and upheaval but also of innovation and profound and lasting cultural change. This is the era of Fat Man and Little Boy, of FDR and Stalin, but also of Casablanca and Citizen Kane, zoot suits and Christian Dior, Duke Ellington and Edith Piaf. The 1940s were when The New Yorker came of age. A magazine that was best known for its humor and wry social observation would extend itself, offering the first in-depth reporting from Hiroshima and introducing American readers to the fiction of Vladimir Nabokov and the poetry of Elizabeth Bishop. In this enthralling book, masterly contributions from the pantheon of great writers who graced The New Yorker 's pages throughout the decade are placed in history by the magazine's current writers. Included in this volume are seminal profiles of the decade's most fascinating figures: Albert Einstein, Marshal Petain, Thomas Mann, Le Corbusier, Walt Disney, and Eleanor Roosevelt. Here are classics in reporting: John Hersey's account of the heroism of a young naval lieutenant named John F. Kennedy; A. J. Liebling's unforgettable depictions of the Fall of France and D Day; Rebecca West's harrowing visit to a lynching trial in South Carolina; Lillian Ross's sly, funny dispatch on the Miss America Pageant; and Joseph Mitchell's imperishable portrait of New York's foremost dive bar, McSorley's. This volume also provides vital, seldom-reprinted criticism. Once again, we are able to witness the era's major figures wrestling with one another's work as it appeared--George Orwell on Graham Greene, W. H. Auden on T. S. Eliot, Lionel Trilling on Orwell. Here are The New Yorker' s original takes on The Great Dictator and The Grapes of Wrath, and opening-night reviews of Death of a Salesman and South Pacific. Perhaps no contribution the magazine made to 1940s American culture was more lasting than its fiction and poetry. Included here is an extraordinary selection of short stories by such writers as Shirley Jackson (whose masterpiece The Lottery stirred outrage when it appeared in the magazine in 1948) and John Cheever (of whose now-classic story The Enormous Radio New Yorker editor Harold Ross said: It will turn out to be a memorable one, or I am a fish. ) Also represented are the great poets of the decade, from Louise Bogan and William Carlos Williams to Theodore Roethke and Langston Hughes. To complete the panorama, today's New Yorker staff, including David Remnick, George Packer, and Alex Ross, look back on the decade through contemporary eyes. Whether it's Louis Menand on postwar cosmopolitanism or Zadie Smith on the decade's breakthroughs in fiction, these new contributions are illuminating, learned, and, above all, entertaining. From the Hardcover edition
Print Book, English, 2015
Modern Library trade paperback edition View all formats and editions
Modern Library, New York, 2015
xvii, 696 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
9780812983296, 9780679644804, 0812983297, 0679644806
Part one: The war. Notes and comment: September 2, 1939 / E. B. White
Paris postscript (on the fall of France) / A. J. Liebling
Letter from London (on the Blitz) / Mollie Painter-Downes
Survival (on Lieutenant John F. Kennedy) / John Hersey
Cross-channel trip (on D Day) / A. J. Liebling
The suspended drawing room (on post-Blitz London) / S. N. Behrman
D Day, Iwo Jima / John Lardner
Letter from Rome (on V-E Day) / Philip Hamburger
Hiroshima / John Hersey. Part two: American scenes. Notes and comment: July 3, 1943 / E. B. White
The old house at home (on McSorley's Old Ale House) / Joseph Mitchell
Opera in Greenville (on a lynching trial) / Rebecca West
Letter from a campaign trail (on the 1948 presidential campaign) / Richard Rovere
Symbol of all we possess (on the Miss America Pageant) / Lillian Ross. Part three: Postwar. Notes and comment: November 1, 1947 / E. B. White
Greek diary: communists, socialists, royalists / Edmund Wilson
The birch leaves falling (on the Nuremberg trials) / Rebecca West
The beautiful spoils: monuments men (on Nazi art theft) / Janet Flanner
Come in, Lassie! (on the Red Scare in Hollywood) / Lillian Ross
Letter from Washington (on the North Atlantic Pact) / Richard Rovere
Die Luftbrücke (on the Berlin airlift) / E. J. Kahn, Jr. Part four: Character studies. Notes and comment: April 21, 1945 / E. B. White
Pollen man (on Walt Disney) / St. Clair McKelway and Harold Ross
Rugged times (on Norman Mailer) / Lillian Ross
Lugubrious mama (on Edith Piaf) / A. J. Liebling
Gossip writer (on Walter Winchell) / St. Clair McKelway
Goethe in Hollywood (on Thomas Mann) / Janet Flanner
Le France et le vieux (on Marshal Pétain) / Janet Flanner
The hot Bach (on Duke Ellington) / Richard O. Boyer
From within to without (on le Corbsuier) / Geoffrey T. Hellman
The great foreigner (on Albert Einstein) / Niccolò Tucci
The years alone (on Eleanor Roosevelt) / E. J. Kahn Jr
El Único Matador (on Sidney Franklin) / Lillian Ross. Part five: The critics. Notes and comment: December 12, 1948 / E. B. White
Ernest Hemingway crosses the bridge (on "For Whom the Bell Tolls") / Clifton Fadiman
Why do people read detective stories? / Edmund Wilson
Jean-Paul Sartre: the novelist and the existentialist (on "The Age of Reason") / Edmund Wilson
Review of "Lord Weary's Castle" (on Robert Lowell) / Louise Bogan
The sanctified sinner (on "The Heart of the Matter" by Graham Greene) / George Orwell
Ports and nuts with the Eliots (on "Notes Towards the Definition of Culture by T.S. Eliot) / W. H. Auden
Orwell n the future (on "Nineteen Eighty-Four") / Lionel Trilling
The great Hildy (on "His Girl Friday") / John Mosher
Zanuck's jodas (on "The Grapes of Wrath") / John Mosher
Charlie's Hitler (on "The Great Dictator") / John Mosher
Childe Orson (on "Citizen Kane") / John Mosher
Pre-Eisenhower (on "Casablanca") / David Lardner
Blood and premiums (on "Double Indemnity") / David Lardner
Very rare vintage (on "The Lost Weekend") / John McCarten
None better (on "The Bicycle Thief") / John McCarten. Part five: The critics, cont. The boys in the back room (on "The Iceman Cometh" by Eugene O'Neill / Wolcott Gibbs
Well worth waiting for (on "Death of a Salesman" by Arthur Miller) / Wolcott Gibbs
What a wonderful war (on Rodgers & Hammerstein's "South Pacific") / Wolcott Gibbs
Assorted moderns / Robert M. Coates
Georges Braques, and the American abstract artists / Robert M. Coates
Rockefeller Center revisited / Lewis Mumford
The architecture of power / Lewis Mumford
Copland and Shostakovitch / Robert A. Simon
Current and recurrent (on Bernstein, Toscanini, and Armstrong) / Robert A. Simon
In the hills (on Tanglewood) / Philip Hamburger
May day at Loxford (on Benjamin Britten) / Philip Hamburger
The violin and Szigeti / Winthrop Sargent
On the retail customer / Lois Long
On ready-to-wear clothes / Lois Long
On American milliners / Lois Long
On French fashion / Lois Long
On college clothes / Lois Long. Part six: Poetry. Home song / E. B. White
The unknown citizen / W. H. Auden
The ritualists / William Carlos Williams
Night journey / Theodore Roethke
Barroom Matins / Louis MacNeice
The end of the world / Malcolm Cowley
The blind sheep / Randall Jarrell
The lovers / Conrad Aiken
Sunday-morning prophecy / Langston Hughes
A poet speaks from the visitors' gallery / Archibald MacLeish
A hundred minnows / Mark Van Doren
The triumph of education / Howard Nemerov
At the fishhouses / Elizabeth Bishop
Aspects of Robinson / Weldon Kees
Awaking / Stephen Spender
At yearsend / Stephen Spender
What I know about life / Ogden Nash
The bight / Elizabeth Bishop
Song for the last act / Louise Bogan. Part seven: Fiction. The second tree from the corner / E. B. White
The jockey / Carson McCullers
Graven image / John O'Hara
The patterns of love / William Maxwell
Act of faith / Irwin Shaw
The enormous radio / John Cheever
My Da / Frank O'Connor
The mysteries of life in an orderly manner / Jessamyn West
Symbols and signs / Vladimir Nabokov
The lottery / Shirley Jackson
The beginning of a story / Elizabeth Taylor
The ladder / V. S. Pritchett
"All pieces in this collection, except as noted, were originally published in The New Yorker."--Title page verso