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The Paul Goodman Readerby Paul Goodman
Synopses & Reviews
A one-man think tank, Paul Goodman wrote more than 30 books, most of them before his decade of fame as a social critic in the 1960s. Goodman in those earlier days thought of himself mostly as an old-fashioned man of letters, and to do justice to his wide-ranging interests and growing activism, this compendium provides excerpts that span his entire career, from the bestselling Growing Up Absurd to landmark books on anarchism, community planning, education, poetics, and psychotherapy. Goodman's fiction and poetry are represented by The Empire City, a comic novel; prize-winning short stories; and poems that once led America's most respected poetry reviewer, Hayden Carruth, to exclaim, "Not one dull page. Its almost unbelievable."
"'Compiled for those not yet born' when editor and friend Taylor Stoehr met the astonishingly prolific social critic Paul Goodman in 1950, this selection of essays, excerpts, short fiction, and poetry presents the work of the self-confessed 'Man of Letters' to a new generation. Seldom afraid to plead ignorant on specialist topics, Goodman instead applies his own forte-human beings-to wholly illuminating social critiques incorporating philosophy, theology, psychoanalysis (he co-founded Gestalt Therapy), and American popular culture. At the core of many a discourse is speech and language. With terrifyingly accurate sketches of 'Orwellian' politics and Goffman-esque analyses of media-influenced human communication, Goodman sweeps through notions of apathy, alienation, and power while exuding his own sense of enterprise and belief in infamous zeitgeist pieces. A renaissance thinker rather than an active proponent for social change, his prophetic writing garnered attention, especially Growing Up Absurd (1960) which hugely, if unintentionally, inspired the youth movements of the following decade. This celebratory compendium is as pertinent today as when Goodman first furiously put pen to paper, and while there may be few concrete answers, Goodman's way of seeing is riveting and decidedly infectious. "
Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Paul Goodman was the author of Drawing the Line and Growing Up Absurd. Known as "the philosopher of the New Left," he set the agenda for the youth movement of the 1960s, producing new books every year throughout the decade while lecturing to hundreds of audiences on subjects from movement politics and community planning to language theory and the media. Taylor Stoehr is Paul Goodman's literary executor and a professor of English at the University of MassachusettsBoston. He has edited numerous volumes of Goodman's fiction, poetry, and social commentary in addition to being the author of several other books on literary and cultural criticism and the translator of two poetry collections. He lives in Boston, Massachusetts.
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Fiction and Poetry » Anthologies » Essays