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Alfred Kazin

KAZIN, ALFRED (1915–1998), U.S. author, critic, and editor. Born to immigrants and educated in New York, Kazin pointed out that he was temperamentally drawn to the idea of revolution and social transformation. Kazin first made his reputation as a book reviewer for the New York Herald Tribune and as an editor for The New Republic and other newspapers and periodicals. His first and best-known work, On Native Grounds (1942), was an explication of modern American literature, studying the estrangement of the American writer from American culture. His critical articles and reviews have been collected in a number of books, including Contemporaries (1962). His autobiographical reflections can be found in A Walker in the City (1951), Starting Out in the Thirties (1965), and New York Jew (1978). They are also descriptions of the generation which grew up in the depression years and matured under the impact of the Spanish Civil War and Nazism. A Lifetime Burning Every Moment (1996) consists of selections from his journals. In his Writing Was Everything (1995), Kazin reflected on his literary heritage and life. Kazin also edited works by William Blake (1946), and others on Dreiser and Emerson. Together with A. Birstein he edited The Works of Anne Frank (1959).


T. Solotaroff (ed.), Alfred Kazin's America: Critical and Personal Writings (2003).

Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2007 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.