Howe, Irving, 1920–93, American literary and social critic, b. New York City. From his early days as a Trotskyist to his later (and lifelong) position as a democratic socialist, Howe criticized Stalinism and left-wing totalitarianism. His roles as a cofounder (1954) of Dissent magazine and frequent contributor to such journals as the Partisan Review, New Republic, and New York Review of Books made him influential in the New York literary world. His many books include William Faulkner: A Critical Study (1952), Politics and the Novel (1957), The Critical Point (1974), World of Our Fathers (1978), Socialism and America (1985), and A Critic's Notebook (1994). Howe, who was a professor at the City Univ. of New York, also played a key role in introducing Yiddish literature to America.
See his autobiography, A Margin of Hope (1982); biography by G. Sorin (2003).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.