[Marxism] Russell Jacoby reviews the New York Review of Books

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Mon Jan 6 06:47:04 MST 2014

The expansion of the NYRB pool of writers brings us to the nub of the 
matter. Who over the years has the magazine tapped or nurtured? This 
subject requires not simply a disclosure alert but a disclosure siren. 
My own 1987 book, The Last Intellectuals, dedicated some pages to 
assessing the NYRB. While stating that it "buzzed with energy" during 
its first decade, I argued it had since become a closed and graying shop 
relying too much on British professors. "While it continues to publish 
serious and sometimes provocative pieces," I wrote, "reading The New 
York Review summons up Oxford teas rather than New York delis." I 
concluded that the NYRB had a deplorable record of enlisting younger 
American intellectuals. "For a quarter century it withdrew from the 
cultural bank without making any investments."

Mr. Silvers was not pleased—or so I was told. An NYRB office assistant 
whom I encountered at a social gathering intimated to me that my name 
was mud over there and that I would not appear in its pages. That proved 
accurate. While my first book had been reviewed and my name had 
occasionally surfaced in other reviews, from that point to the 
present—25 years—I vanished entirely from the NYRB. Was this cause and 
effect? Reminder memo to authors who speak truth to power: Do not speak 
truth to book-review editors. But I have no evidence of a lockout, only 

full: http://chronicle.com/article/The-Graying-of-the-NYRB/143759/

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