Obituary

The actor, found dead this afternoon in his New York apartment, defied all Hollywood convention.

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Pete Seeger: "For Too Much of My Life, I Preached to the Converted"

A previously unpublished interview

A previously unpublished interview with Pete Seeger.

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Maybe it is good, in retrospect, that Pete Seeger's early, objectionable, Soviet-line performances can still be heard. 

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The poet and activist was the soul of the New Jersey city.

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Remembering a brief encounter with the self-destructive, life-affirming star.

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He was a hero who ranks with Abraham Lincoln. But he left a more ambivalent legacy, too.

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Tom Foley's obit included details about a scurrilous anti-gay smear against him. And then it had this headline:

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I started working with Stanley at The New Republic in 1978, when I was twenty-four and he was sixty-two. The best part of my job was proofreading his reviews. It involved no work, since we both regarded him as editorially infallible. We spent a few moments each week on the phone correcting the typesetter’s errors, then moved on to an art he relished as much as film: conversation. That is, he entertained, and I listened.

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The first time I met Stanley I had just started at The New Republic in the job of assistant literary editor, which has long entailed being the liaison between Stanley and the magazine. For several months I had spoken to him on the phone each week. I knew him by his singular voice, which had the genteel lilt of a nineteenth-century aristocrat. (“It’s delightful to hear from you, Laura dear.”) He was in his mid-nineties then, with bad eyesight, and used e-mail, endearingly, with cheerful ineptitude.

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For decades, readers of The New Republic could not comprehend that their beloved and trusted Stanley Kauffmann was in his seventies, his eighties, and then his nineties. He had started as film critic at the magazine in 1958. But he wrote like a young man, or like someone capable of falling in love once a week as he discovered some fresh glory. Stanley was born in 1916 (the year Griffith’s Intolerance opened). As  a boy he saw silent movies as they played New York. And there he was, at 95, writing about new films with the old awe and delight.

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