A Life of Passionate Dissent By Gerald Sorin (320 Pages)Publisher: NYU Press, 2005
By the time he died in 1993 at the age of seventy-three, Irving Howe was one of the twentieth century's most important public thinkers. Deeply passionate, committed to social reform and secular Jewishness, ardently devoted to fiction and poetry, in love with baseball, music, and ballet, Howe wrote with such eloquence and lived with such conviction that his extraordinary work is now part of the canon of American social thought. In the first comprehensive biography of Howe's life, historian Gerald Sorin brings us close to this man who rose from Jewish immigrant poverty of the 1930s to become one of the most provocative intellectuals of our time. Known most widely for his award-winning book World of Our Fathers, a rich portrayal of the East European Jewish experience in New York, Howe also won acclaim for his prodigious output of illuminating essays on American culture and as an indefatigable promoter of democratic socialism as can be seen in the pages of Dissent, the journal he edited for nearly forty years.