Synopses & Reviews
This collection of the best essays written in the English language during the past one hundred years includes many that have become landmarks defining their time: Norman Mailer's "The White Negro", Tom Wolfe's "These Radical Chic Evenings", James Baldwin's "Notes of a Native Son", and Gore Vidal's "The Holy Family". Others are in a lighter vein, like James Thurber's lampoon of Salvador Dali's Secret Life or Max Beerbohm's reflections on "Laughter". There are Philip Roth on baseball and A. P. Herbert on bathrooms; Mary McCarthy's "My Confession", on her Communist sympathies; and F. Scott Fitzgerald's "The Crack-up". Each reader will have his or her own favorites: Eudora Welty capturing the precise moment at which she grew up, or Arthur Koestler debunking the effects of magic mushrooms. And each essay has stood the test of time, like Hannah Arendt's "The Concentration Camps", Edmund Wilson's now classic "The Wound and the Bow", and Paul Fussell on World War II.
Table of Contents
Woman / G.K. Chesterton -- King Lear's daughter / Maurice Baring -- The Somme still flows / Edmund Blunden -- How it strikes a contemporary / Virginia Woolf -- Tradition and the individual talent / T.S. Eliot -- Laughter / Max Beerbohm -- Why the novel matters / D.H. Lawrence -- Literary booms / Desmond McCarthy -- Sermons in cats / Aldous Huxley -- About bathrooms / A.P. Herbert -- The sad story of Dr Colbatch / Lytton Strachey -- Reflections on journalism / H.L. Mencken -- The crack-up / F. Scott Fitzgerald -- The secret life of James Thurber / James Thurber -- Memory / Martha Gellhorn -- The head of a leader / Christopher Isherwood -- England your England / George Orwell -- The guilty vicarage / W.H. Auden -- My confession / Mary McCarthy -- Mass civilization and minority culture / F.R. Leavis -- The little store / Eudora Welty -- The lost childhood / Graham Greene -- My war / Paul Fussell -- Philoctetes: the wound and the bow / Edmund Wilson -- The concentration camps / Hannah Arendt.