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Max Eastman
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Author
    (January 4, 1883-March 25, 1969)
    Born in Canandaigua, New York
    Author/editor/literary critic/poet
    Editor for 'The Masses' (1913-17), 'The Liberator' (1919-24) and 'Reader's Digest' (1941-69)
    Wrote 'Enjoyment of Poetry' (1913), 'Child of the Amazons and Other Poems' (1913), 'Journalism Versus Art' (1916), 'Colors of Life: Poems and Songs and Sonnets' (1918), 'The Sense of Humor' (1921), 'Since Lenin Died' (1925), 'Art and the Life of Action' (1934), 'Enjoyment of Laughter' (1936), 'Stalin's Russia and the Crisis in Socialism' (1939), 'Heroes I Have Known' (1942), 'Enjoyment of Living' (1948), 'Reflections on the Failure of Socialism' (1955), 'Great Companions: Critical Memoirs of Some Famous Friends' (1959) and 'Love and Revolution: My Journey Through an Epoch' (1964)
    After completing all the requirements for a doctoral degree, he refused to accept it and withdrew from Columbia University instead.
    He left his wife and child for an actress.
    He went from being a socialist who supported the Russian Revolution to a conservative who supported Joseph McCarthy.
    He and Ernest Hemingway got into a wrestling match at the office of their mutual editor, Maxwell Perkins. (Both authors insisted that they had won the bout.)
    He wrote, 'Although I do nothing, I always talk politics like a man of action, and that makes it necessary at least to go on talking.'
    During World War I, he was twice tried and acquitted of violating the Sedition Act; the government's prosecution of dissenters led him to write 'You can't even collect your thoughts without getting arrested for unlawful assembly.'
    After a fact-finding tour of the Soviet Union (1922-24), he ticked off leftists by describing conditions for artists and political activists and by revealing Lenin's Testament, which urged that Stalin be removed from power.
    He wrote that the Russian Revolution 'rather than producing freedom, produced the most perfect tyranny in all history.'
    He criticized authors like James Joyce for fostering a 'Cult of Unintelligibility.'

Credit: C. Fishel


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