Man of letters, political critic, public intellectual, Irving Howe was one of America’s most exemplary and embattled writers. Since his death in 1993 at age 72, Howe’s work and his personal example of commitment to high principle, both literary and political, have had a vigorous afterlife. This posthumous and capacious collection includes twenty-six essays that originally appeared in such publications as the New York Review of Books, the New Republic, and the Nation. Taken together, they reveal the depth and breadth of Howe’s enthusiasms and range over politics, literature, Judaism, and the tumults of American society.
A Voice Still Heard is essential to the understanding of the passionate and skeptical spirit of this lucid writer. The book forms a bridge between the two parallel enterprises of culture and politics. It shows how politics justifies itself by culture, and how the latter prompts the former. Howe’s voice is ever sharp, relentless, often scathingly funny, revealing Howe as that rarest of critics—a real reader and writer, one whose clarity of style is a result of his disciplined and candid mind.