The New York Review of Books

The New York Review of Books (or NYREV or NYRB) is a semi-monthly magazine[2] with articles on literature, culture, economics, science and current affairs. Published in New York City, it is inspired by the idea that the discussion of important books is an indispensable literary activity. Esquire called it "the premier literary-intellectual magazine in the English language."[3] In 1970 writer Tom Wolfe described it as "the chief theoretical organ of Radical chic".[4]

The Review publishes long-form reviews and essays, often by well-known writers, original poetry, and has letters and personals advertising sections that had attracted critical comment. In 1979 the magazine founded the London Review of Books, which soon became independent. In 1990 it founded an Italian edition, la Rivista dei Libri, published until 2010. Robert B. Silvers and Barbara Epstein edited the paper together from its founding in 1963, until her death in 2006. From then until his death in 2017, Silvers was the sole editor.[5] Ian Buruma became editor in September 2017 and left the post in September 2018. Gabriel Winslow-Yost and Emily Greenhouse were named co-editors in February 2019. The Review has a book publishing division, established in 1999, called New York Review Books, which publishes classics, collections, comics and children's books. Since 2010, the journal has hosted an online blog written by its contributors.

The Review celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2013, and a Martin Scorsese film called The 50 Year Argument documents the history and influence of the paper.

The New York Review of Books
David Levine's caricature of John Updike in the November 24, 1983 issue
Categoriesliterature, culture, current affairs
PublisherRea S. Hederman
Total circulation
First issueFebruary 1, 1963
CountryUnited States
Based inNew York City
LanguageAmerican English

History and description

Early years

The New York Review was founded by Robert B. Silvers and Barbara Epstein, together with publisher A. Whitney Ellsworth[6] and writer Elizabeth Hardwick. They were backed and encouraged by Epstein's husband, Jason Epstein, a vice president at Random House and editor of Vintage Books, and Hardwick's husband, poet Robert Lowell. In 1959 Hardwick had published an essay, "The Decline of Book Reviewing", in Harper's,[7] where Silvers was then an editor, in a special issue that he edited called "Writing in America".[8][9] Her essay was an indictment of American book reviews of the time, "light, little article[s]" that she decried as "lobotomized", passionless praise and denounced as "blandly, respectfully denying whatever vivacious interest there might be in books or in literary matters generally."[10] The group was inspired to found a new magazine to publish thoughtful, probing, lively reviews[11] featuring what Hardwick called "the unusual, the difficult, the lengthy, the intransigent, and above all, the interesting".[7][12]

During the 1962–63 New York City newspaper strike, when The New York Times and several other newspapers suspended publication, Hardwick, Lowell and the Epsteins seized the chance to establish the sort of vigorous book review that Hardwick had imagined.[13] Jason Epstein knew that book publishers would advertise their books in the new publication, since they had no other outlet for promoting new books.[14] The group turned to the Epsteins' friend Silvers, who had been an editor at The Paris Review and was still at Harper's,[15] to edit the publication, and Silvers asked Barbara Epstein to co-edit with him.[9][13] She was known as the editor at Doubleday of Anne Frank's Diary of a Young Girl, among other books, and then worked at Dutton, McGraw-Hill and The Partisan Review.[16] Silvers and Epstein sent books to "the writers we knew and admired most. ... We asked for three thousand words in three weeks in order to show what a book review should be, and practically everyone came through. No one mentioned money."[9] The first issue of the Review was published on February 1, 1963 and sold out its printing of 100,000 copies.[3] It prompted nearly 1,000 letters to the editors asking for the Review to continue.[9] The New Yorker called it "surely the best first issue of any magazine ever."[17] After the success of the first issue, the editors assembled a second issue to demonstrate that "the Review was not a one-shot affair".[9] The founders then collected investments from a circle of friends and acquaintances, and Ellsworth joined as publisher.[9][18] The Review began regular biweekly publication in November 1963.[19]

Silvers said of the editors' philosophy, that "there was no subject we couldn't deal with. And if there was no book [on a subject], we would deal with it anyway. We tried hard to avoid books that were simply competent rehearsals of familiar subjects, and we hoped to find books that would establish something fresh, something original."[9] In particular, "We felt you had to have a political analysis of the nature of power in America – who had it, who was affected". The editors also shared an "intense admiration for wonderful writers".[21] Well-known writers were willing to contribute articles for the initial issues of the Review without pay because it offered them a chance to write a new kind of book review. As Mark Gevisser explained: "The essays ... made the book review form not just a report on the book and a judgment of the book, but an essay in itself. And that, I think, startled everyone – that a book review could be exciting in that way, could be provocative in that way."[8] Early issues included articles by such writers as Hardwick, Lowell, Jason Epstein, Hannah Arendt, W. H. Auden, Saul Bellow, John Berryman, Truman Capote, Paul Goodman,[22] Lillian Hellman, Irving Howe, Alfred Kazin, Dwight Macdonald, Norman Mailer, Mary McCarthy, Norman Podhoretz, Philip Rahv, Adrienne Rich, Susan Sontag, William Styron, Gore Vidal, Robert Penn Warren and Edmund Wilson. The Review pointedly published interviews with European political dissidents, including Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Andrei Sakharov and Václav Havel.[21][23] But, Silvers noted, it is a mystery whether "reviews have a calculable political and social impact" or will even gain attention: "You mustn't think too much about influence – if you find something interesting yourself, that should be enough."[9]

Salon later commented that the list of contributors "represented a 'shock and awe' demonstration of the intellectual firepower available for deployment in mid-century America, and, almost equally impressive, of the art of editorial networking and jawboning. This was the party everyone who was anyone wanted to attend, the Black and White Ball of the critical elite."[24] The Review "announced the arrival of a particular sensibility ... the engaged, literary, post-war progressive intellectual, who was concerned with civil rights and feminism as well as fiction and poetry and theater.[23] The first issue projected "a confidence in the unquestioned rightness of the liberal consensus, in the centrality of literature and its power to convey meaning, in the solubility of our problems through the application of intelligence and good will, and in the coherence and clear hierarchy of the intellectual world".[24]

Since 1979

During the year-long lock-out at The Times in London in 1979, the Review founded a daughter publication, the London Review of Books. For the first six months, this journal appeared as an insert in the New York Review of Books, but it became an independent publication in 1980.[25][26] In 1990 the Review founded an Italian edition, la Rivista dei Libri. It was published for two decades until May 2010.[27]

For over 40 years, Silvers and Epstein edited the Review together.[3] In 1984, Silvers, Epstein and their partners sold the Review to publisher Rea S. Hederman,[28] who still owns the paper,[29] but the two continued as its editors.[15] In 2006, Epstein died of cancer at the age of 77.[30] In awarding to Epstein and Silvers its 2006 Literarian Award for Outstanding Service to the American Literary Community, the National Book Foundation stated: "With The New York Review of Books, Robert Silvers and Barbara Epstein raised book reviewing to an art and made the discussion of books a lively, provocative and intellectual activity."[31]

After Epstein's death, Silvers was the sole editor until his own death in 2017.[5] Asked about who might succeed him as editor, Silvers told The New York Times, "I can think of several people who would be marvelous editors. Some of them work here, some used to work here, and some are just people we know. I think they would put out a terrific paper, but it would be different."[32] In 2008, the Review celebrated its 45th anniversary with a panel discussion at the New York Public Library, moderated by Silvers, discussing "What Happens Now" in the United States after the 2008 election of Barack Obama as president. Panelists included Review contributors such as Didion, Wills, novelist and literary critic Darryl Pinckney, political commentator Michael Tomasky, and Columbia University professor and contributor Andrew Delbanco.[33] The 45th anniversary edition of the Review (November 20, 2008) began with a posthumous piece by Edmund Wilson, who wrote for the paper's first issue in 1963.[21]

In 2008, the paper moved its headquarters from Midtown Manhattan to 435 Hudson Street, located in the West Village.[34] In 2010, it launched a blog section of its website[35] that The New York Times called "lively and opinionated",[32] and it hosts podcasts.[36][37] Asked in 2013 how social media might affect the subject matter of the Review, Silvers commented: "I might imagine [a] witty, aphoristic, almost Oscar Wildean [anthology of] remarks, drawn from the millions and millions of tweets. Or from comments that follow on blogs. ... Facebook is a medium in which privacy is, or at least is thought to be, in some way crucial. ... And so there seems a resistance to intrusive criticism. We seem at the edge of a vast, expanding ocean of words ... growing without any critical perspective whatever being brought to bear on it. To me, as an editor, that seems an enormous absence."[38] In 2016, Hederman said that he sees the Review continuing to operate unchanged in five years.[29]

The Review began a year-long celebration of its 50th anniversary with a presentation by Silvers and several contributors at The Town Hall in New York City in February 2013.[39][40] Other events included a program at the New York Public Library in April, called "Literary Journalism: A Discussion", focusing on the editorial process at the Review[41][42] and a reception in November at the Frick Collection.[43][44] During the year, Martin Scorsese filmed a documentary about the history and influence of the Review, and the debates that it has spawned, titled The 50 Year Argument, which premiered in June 2014 at the Sheffield Doc/Fest.[45][46] It was later seen at various film festivals, on BBC television and on HBO in the US.[9] Asked how he maintained his "level of meticulousness and determination" after 50 years, Silvers said that the Review "was and is a unique opportunity ... to do what one wants on anything in the world. Now, that is given to hardly any editor, anywhere, anytime. There are no strictures, no limits. Nobody saying you can't do something. No subject, no theme, no idea that can’t be addressed in-depth. ... Whatever work is involved is minor compared to the opportunity."[38] A special 50th anniversary issue was dated November 7, 2013. Silvers said:

An independent, critical voice on politics, literature, science, and the arts seems as much needed today as it was when Barbara Epstein and I put out the first edition of the New York Review fifty years ago – perhaps even more so. Electronic forms of communication grow rapidly in every field of life but many of their effects on culture remain obscure and in need of new kinds of critical scrutiny. That will be a central concern of the Review for the years to come.[19]

Ian Buruma, who had been a regular contributor to the Review since 1985, became editor in September 2017.[47] He left the position in September 2018 after backlash over publishing an essay by Jian Ghomeshi, who has been accused by 20 women of sexual assault, and defending the publication in an interview with Slate magazine.[48][49] The Review stated that it did not follow its "usual editorial practices", as the essay "was shown to only one male editor during the editing process", and that Buruma's statement to Slate about the staff of the Review "did not accurately represent their views".[50] Gabriel Winslow-Yost (formerly a senior editor at the Review) and Emily Greenhouse (formerly the managing editor of The New Yorker) were named co-editors in February 2019; Daniel Mendelsohn, a longtime Review contributor, was named to the new position of "editor at large".[51]


The Review has been described as a "kind of magazine ... in which the most interesting and qualified minds of our time would discuss current books and issues in depth ... a literary and critical journal based on the assumption that the discussion of important books was itself an indispensable literary activity."[52][53] Each issue includes a broad range of subject matter, including "articles on art, science, politics and literature."[32] Early on, the editors decided that the Review would "be interested in everything ... no subject would be excluded. Someone is writing a piece about Nascar racing for us; another is working on Veronese."[12] The Review has focused, however, on political topics; as Silvers commented in 2004: "The pieces we have published by such writers as Brian Urquhart, Thomas Powers, Mark Danner and Ronald Dworkin have been reactions to a genuine crisis concerning American destructiveness, American relations with its allies, American protections of its traditions of liberties. ... The aura of patriotic defiance cultivated by the [Bush] Administration, in a fearful atmosphere, had the effect of muffling dissent."[54] Silvers told The New York Times: "The great political issues of power and its abuses have always been natural questions for us."[32]

The Nation gave its view of the political focus of the New York Review of Books in 2004:

[T]he Review took a vocal role in contesting the Vietnam War. ... Around 1970, a sturdy liberalism began to supplant left-wing radicalism at the paper. As Philip Nobile observed in ... 1974 ... the Review returned to its roots and became "a literary magazine on the British nineteenth-century model, which would mix politics and literature in a tough but gentlemanly fashion." ... The publication has always been erudite and authoritative – and because of its analytical rigor and seriousness, frequently essential – but it hasn't always been lively, pungent and readable. ... But the election of George W. Bush, combined with the furies of 9/11, jolted the editors. Since 2001, the Review's temperature has risen and its political outlook has sharpened. ... Prominent [writers for] the Review ... charged into battle not only against the White House but against the lethargic press corps and the "liberal hawk" intellectuals. ... In stark contrast to The New Yorker ... or The New York Times Magazine ..., the Review opposed the Iraq War in a voice that was remarkably consistent and unified.[55]

Over the years, the Review has featured reviews and articles by such international writers and intellectuals, in addition to those already noted, as Timothy Garton Ash, Margaret Atwood, Russell Baker, Saul Bellow, Isaiah Berlin, Harold Bloom, Joseph Brodsky, Ian Buruma, Noam Chomsky, J. M. Coetzee, Frederick Crews, Ronald Dworkin, John Kenneth Galbraith, Masha Gessen, Nadine Gordimer, Stephen Jay Gould, Christopher Hitchens, Tim Judah, Murray Kempton, Paul Krugman, Richard Lewontin, Perry Link, Alison Lurie, Peter Medawar, Daniel Mendelsohn, Bill Moyers, Vladimir Nabokov, Ralph Nader, V. S. Naipaul, Peter G. Peterson, Samantha Power, Nathaniel Rich, Felix Rohatyn, Jean-Paul Sartre, John Searle, Zadie Smith, Timothy Snyder, George Soros, I. F. Stone, Desmond Tutu, John Updike, Derek Walcott, Steven Weinberg, Garry Wills and Tony Judt. According to the National Book Foundation: "From Mary McCarthy and Edmund Wilson to Gore Vidal and Joan Didion, The New York Review of Books has consistently employed the liveliest minds in America to think about, write about, and debate books and the issues they raise."[31]

The Review also devotes space in most issues to poetry, and has featured the work of such poets as Robert Lowell, John Berryman, Ted Hughes, John Ashbery, Richard Wilbur, Seamus Heaney, Octavio Paz, and Czeslaw Milosz.[56] For writers, the "depth [of the articles], and the quality of the people writing for it, has made a Review byline a résumé definer. If one wishes to be thought of as a certain type of writer – of heft, style and a certain gravitas – a Review byline is pretty much the gold standard."[57] In editing a piece, Silvers said that he asked himself "if [the point in any sentence could] be clearer, while also respecting the writer’s voice and tone. You have to listen carefully to the tone of the writer’s prose and try to adapt to it, but only up to a point. [No change was made without the writers' permission.] ... Writers deserve the final word about their prose."[38]

In addition to domestic matters, the Review covers issues of international concern.[58] In the 1980s, a British commentator noted: "In the 1960s [the Review] opposed American involvement in Vietnam; more recently it has taken a line mildly Keynesian in economics, pro-Israeli but Anti-Zionist, sceptical of Reagan's Latin-American policy".[59] The British newspaper The Independent has described the Review as "the only mainstream American publication to speak out consistently against the war in Iraq."[60] On Middle East coverage, Silvers said, "any serious criticism of Israeli policy will be seen by some as heresy, a form of betrayal. ... [M]uch of what we've published has come from some of the most respected and brilliant Israeli writers ... Amos Elon, Avishai Margalit, David Grossman, David Shulman, among them. What emerges from them is a sense that occupying land and people year after year can only lead to a sad and bad result."[38]

Caricaturist David Levine illustrated The New York Review of Books from 1963 to 2007, giving the paper a distinctive visual image.[34] Levine died in 2009.[61] John Updike, whom Levine drew many times, wrote: "Besides offering us the delight of recognition, his drawings comfort us, in an exacerbated and potentially desperate age, with the sense of a watching presence, an eye informed by an intelligence that has not panicked, a comic art ready to encapsulate the latest apparitions of publicity as well as those historical devils who haunt our unease."[62] Levine contributed more than 3,800 pen-and-ink caricatures of famous writers, artists and politicians for the publication.[62][63] Silvers said: "David combined acute political commentary with a certain kind of joke about the person. He was immensely sensitive to the smallest details – people’s shoulders, their feet, their elbows. He was able to find character in these details."[64] The New York Times described Levine's illustrations as "macro-headed, somberly expressive, astringently probing and hardly ever flattering caricatures of intellectuals and athletes, politicians and potentates" that were "replete with exaggeratedly bad haircuts, 5 o'clock shadows, ill-conceived mustaches and other grooming foibles ... to make the famous seem peculiar-looking in order to take them down a peg".[61] In later years, illustrators for the Review included James Ferguson of Financial Times.[65]

The Washington Post described the "lively literary disputes" conducted in the 'letters to the editor' column of the Review as "the closest thing the intellectual world has to bare-knuckle boxing".[3] In addition to reviews, interviews and articles, the paper features extensive advertising from publishers promoting newly published books. It also includes a popular "personals" section that "share[s] a cultivated writing style" with its articles.[36][66] One lonely heart, author Jane Juska, documented the 63 replies to her personal ad in the Review with a 2003 memoir, A Round-Heeled Woman, that became a West End play.[67][68] In The Washington Post, Matt Schudel called the personal ads "sometimes laughably highbrow" and recalled that they were "spoofed by Woody Allen in the movie Annie Hall".[69]

Several of the magazine's editorial assistants have become prominent in journalism, academia and literature, including Jean Strouse, Deborah Eisenberg, Mark Danner and A. O. Scott.[70] Another former intern and a contributor to the Review, author Claire Messud, said: "They’re incredibly generous about taking the time to go through things. So much of [business today] is about people doing things quickly, with haste. One of the first things to go out the window is a type of graciousness. ... There’s a whole sort of rhythm and tone of how they deal with people. I’m sure it was always rare. But it feels incredibly precious now."[57]

The Review has published, since 2009, the NYR Daily, which focuses on the news.[71]

Critical reaction

The Washington Post calls the Review "a journal of ideas that has helped define intellectual discourse in the English-speaking world for the past four decades. ... By publishing long, thoughtful articles on politics, books and culture, [the editors] defied trends toward glibness, superficiality and the cult of celebrity".[3] Similarly, the Chicago Tribune praised the paper as "one of the few venues in American life that takes ideas seriously. And it pays readers the ultimate compliment of assuming that we do too."[72] In a 2006 New York magazine feature, James Atlas stated: "It's an eclectic but impressive mix [of articles] that has made The New York Review of Books the premier journal of the American intellectual elite".[73] The Atlantic commented in 2011 that the Review is written with "a freshness of perspective", and "much of it shapes our most sophisticated public discourse."[74] In celebrating the 35th birthday of the Review in 1998, The New York Times commented, "The N.Y.R. gives off rogue intimations of being fun to put out. It hasn't lost its sneaky nip of mischief".[75]

In 2008, Britain's The Guardian deemed the Review "scholarly without being pedantic, scrupulous without being dry".[76] The same newspaper wrote in 2004:

The ... issues of the Review to date provide a history of the cultural life of the east coast since 1963. It manages to be ... serious with a fierce democratic edge. ... It is one of the last places in the English-speaking world that will publish long essays ... and possibly the very last to combine academic rigour – even the letters to the editor are footnoted – with great clarity of language.[15]

In New York magazine, in February 2011, Oliver Sacks stated that the Review is "one of the great institutions of intellectual life here or anywhere."[77] In 2012, The New York Times described the Review as "elegant, well mannered, immensely learned, a little formal at times, obsessive about clarity and factual correctness and passionately interested in human rights and the way governments violate them."[32]

Known throughout its history as a left-liberal journal, what Tom Wolfe called "the chief theoretical organ of radical chic",[4] the Review has, perhaps, had its most effective voice in wartime. According to a 2004 feature in The Nation,

One suspects they yearn for the day when they can return to their normal publishing routine – that gentlemanly pastiche of philosophy, art, classical music, photography, German and Russian history, East European politics, literary fiction – unencumbered by political duties of a confrontational or oppositional nature. That day has not yet arrived. If and when it does, let it be said that the editors met the challenges of the post-9/11 era in a way that most other leading American publications did not, and that The New York Review of Books ... was there when we needed it most.[78]

Sometimes accused of insularity, the Review has been called "The New York Review of Each Other's Books".[79] Philip Nobile expressed a mordant criticism along these lines in his book Intellectual Skywriting: Literary Politics and the New York Review of Books.[73] The Guardian characterized such accusations as "sour grapes".[15] Phillip Lopate commented, in 2017, that Silvers "regarded his contributors as worthy authors, and so why punish them by neglecting their latest work?".[80] In 2008, the San Francisco Chronicle wrote, "the pages of the 45th anniversary issue, in fact, reveal the actuality of [the paper's] willfully panoramic view".[21]

The Washington Post called the 2013 50th Anniversary issue "gaudy with intellectual firepower. Four Nobel Laureates have bylines. U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer muses on reading Proust. There's the transcript of a long-lost lecture by T. S. Eliot."[57] In 2014, Rachel Cooke wrote in The Observer of a recent issue: "The offer of such an embarrassment of riches is wholly amazing in a world where print journalism increasingly operates in the most threadbare of circumstances".[12] America magazine echoed Zoë Heller's words about the Review: "I like it because it educates me."[81] Lopate adds that the Review "was and is the standard bearer for American intellectual life: a unique repository of thoughtful discourse, unrepentantly highbrow, in a culture increasingly given to dumbing down."[80] Timothy Noah of Politico called it "the country’s best and most influential literary journal. ... It's hard to imagine that Hardwick ... would complain today that book reviewing is too polite."[82]

Book-publishing arm

The book-publishing arm of the Review is New York Review Books. Established in 1999, it has several imprints: New York Review Books, NYRB Classics, The New York Review Children’s Collection, New York Review Comics, NYRB Poets, NYRB Lit and the Calligrams. NYRB Collections publishes collections of articles from frequent Review contributors.[83] The Classics imprint reissues books that have gone out of print in the US, as well as translations of classic books. It has been called "a marvellous literary imprint ... that has put hundreds of wonderful books back on our shelves."[12]


The New York Public Library purchased the NYRB archives in 2015.[84]

See also


  1. ^ "eCirc for Consumer Magazines", Audit Bureau of Circulations, accessed June 30, 2017
  2. ^ Normally, it is published 20 times a year, with only one issue in each of January, July, August and September. See Tucker, Neely. "The New York Review of Books turns 50", The Washington Post, November 6, 2013
  3. ^ a b c d e Schudel, Matt. Obituary: "N.Y. Review of Books Founder Barbara Epstein", The Washington Post, June 19, 2006, p. B05
  4. ^ a b Wolfe, Tom. "Radical Chic: That Party at Lenny's", New York Magazine, June 8, 1970, accessed April 20, 2009
  5. ^ a b Wheatcroft, Geoffrey. "Robert Silvers obituary", The Guardian, March 21, 2017
  6. ^ Grimes, William. "A. Whitney Ellsworth, First Publisher of New York Review, Dies at 75". The New York Times, June 20, 2011
  7. ^ a b Hardwick, Elizabeth. "The Decline of Book Reviewing", Harpers, October 1959, accessed March 16, 2013
  8. ^ a b Gevisser, Mark. "Robert Silvers on the Paris and New York Reviews", The Paris Review, March 20, 2012
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i Fassler, Joe. "A 50-Year Protest for Good Writing", The Atlantic, October 1, 2014
  10. ^ "Elizabeth Hardwick's 'The Decline of Book Reviewing' (1959)", Harpers, January 30, 2013
  11. ^ Meyer, Eugene L. "Jason Epstein '49: Publishing Icon, Perennial Student", Columbia College Today, Spring 2012, p. 44
  12. ^ a b c d Cooke, Rachel. "Robert Silvers interview: 'Someone told me Martin Scorsese might be interested in making a film about us. And he was'", The Observer, The Guardian, 7 June 2014
  13. ^ a b Jason Epstein recounts the story of the initial meeting of the Epsteins, Hardwick and Lowell in [" "A Strike and a Start: Founding The New York Review"], NYR Blog, The New York Review of Books, March 16, 2013
  14. ^ Harvey, Matt. "Brawls and books: Skepticism lives on as New York Review of Books ages but thrives", The Villager, vol. 78, no. 24, November 12–18, 2008, reprinted in Downtown Express, Vol. 21, No. 28, November 21, 2008.
  15. ^ a b c d Brown, Andrew. "The writer's editor", The Guardian, January 24, 2004
  16. ^ McGrath, Charles. "Barbara Epstein, Editor and Literary Arbiter, Dies at 77", The New York Times, June 17, 2006, accessed March 21, 2012
  17. ^ Remnick, David. "Barbara Epstein", Barbara Epstein, The New Yorker, July 3, 2006
  18. ^ Haffner, Peter. "Robert Silvers: We Do What We Want" Archived 2014-08-02 at the Wayback Machine, 032c, Issue #23, Winter 2012/2013, accessed July 21, 2014
  19. ^ a b "The New York Review of Books Announces its 50th Anniversary", Book Business magazine, January 31, 2013
  20. ^ Silvers, Robert and Barbara Epstein. "The Opening Editorial", The New York Review of Books, Issue 1 (1963), reprinted November 7, 2013, accessed October 1, 2014
  21. ^ a b c d Benson, Heidi. "New York Review of Books' Robert Silvers", San Francisco Chronicle, November 9, 2008
  22. ^ Biography The New York Review of Books. Retrieved 13 September 2013.
  23. ^ a b Haglund, David, Aisha Harris, and Alexandra Heimbach. "Was This the Best First Issue of Any Magazine Ever?", Slate magazine, February 1, 2013
  24. ^ a b Howard, Gerald. "Out of a newspaper strike dawned a new age in American letters", Salon, February 1, 2013
  25. ^ "About the LRB". London Review of Books, accessed 8 June 2011
  26. ^ Grimes, William (20 June 2011). "A. Whitney Ellsworth, First Publisher of New York Review, Dies at 75". The New York Times. Retrieved 20 June 2011.
  27. ^ Erbani, Francesco. "la Rivista dei Libri ha Deciso di Chiudere ma Torna Alfabeta", la Repubblica, May 12, 2010, accessed February 5, 2013 (in Italian)
  28. ^ Blum, David. "Literary Lotto". New York Magazine, January 21, 1985, Vol. 18, No. 3, pp. 38–43, accessed April 25, 2011
  29. ^ a b McLure, Jason and Ilenia Caia. "Fired by family, Hederman made New York Review second act", Global Journalist, January 11, 2016
  30. ^ Obituary, The New York Times, June 17, 2006
  31. ^ a b "Robert Silvers and Barbara Epstein to Be Honored", Press release from The National Book Foundation (2006)
  32. ^ a b c d e McGrath, Charles. "Editor Not Ready to Write an Ending", The New York Times, March 16, 2012
  33. ^ Bradley, Bill. "Joan Didion on Slouching Towards the Presidency" Archived 2009-02-14 at the Wayback Machine, Vanity Fair, November 11, 2008
  34. ^ a b Neyfakh, Leon. "What's New at The New York Review of Books?", The New York Observer, December 13, 2007
  35. ^ New York Review of Books Blog, accessed April 14, 2010
  36. ^ a b Mohan, Jake. "New York Review of Books Podcast Gets Political (Like It or Not)", October 22, 2008
  37. ^ NYRB podcasts archive. Accessed April 14, 2010.
  38. ^ a b c d Danner, Mark. "In Conversation: Robert Silvers", New York Magazine, April 7, 2013
  39. ^ Kirchner, Lauren. "At 50, New York Review of Books celebrates the longevity of a magazine, and a mission", Capital New York, February 6, 2013
  40. ^ Ulin, David L. "The New York Review of Books turns 50", Los Angeles Times, January 3, 2013
  41. ^ "Literary Journalism: A Discussion",
  42. ^ "Celebrating 50 Years of The New York Review of Books", New York Public Library, accessed January 22, 2013
  43. ^ Pellien, Jessica. "Congratulations to The New York Review of Books on Their 50th Anniversary", Princeton University Press Blog, November 8, 2013
  44. ^ Bloomgarden-Smoke, Kara. "The New York Review of Books Keeps the Golden Jubilee Celebration Going All Year", The New York Observer, November 13, 2013
  45. ^ Barnes, Henry. "Sheffield Doc/Fest 2014 review: The 50 Year Argument - Scorsese's love letter to old media", The Guardian, June 7, 2014
  46. ^ "Martin Scorsese premiere for Sheffield Doc/Fest", BBC, May 8, 2014; Roddy, Michael. "Scorsese says NY Review film meant as guide to young" Archived 2014-02-26 at the Wayback Machine, Chicago Tribune, February 15, 2014; and Han, Angie. "Martin Scorsese Has a New York Review of Books Doc Premiering in Berlin",, January 28, 2014
  47. ^ Williams, John. "Ian Buruma on a New Era at The New York Review of Books", The New York Times, September 9, 2017
  48. ^ Pilkington, Ed. "New York Review of Books editor Ian Buruma departs amid outrage over essay", The Guardian, September 19, 2018; and Vanderhoof, Erin. "How Ian Buruma’s New York Review of Books Ouster Became Inevitable", Vanity Fair, September 19, 2018
  49. ^ O'Rourke, Meghan. "What Magazines Can’t Do in the Age of #MeToo", The Atlantic, September 21, 2018
  50. ^ Williams, John. "New York Review of Books Acknowledges 'Failures' in a #MeToo Essay", The New York Times, September 24, 2018
  51. ^ Williams, John. "New York Review Names 2 Top Editors 5 Months After Ian Buruma's Departure", The New York Times, February 25, 2019
  52. ^ Profile of the Review Archived 2007-03-18 at the Wayback Machine, U.S. Consulate General in China
  53. ^ "About the Review", The New York Review of Books, accessed October 1, 2014
  54. ^ Sherman, Scott. "The Rebirth of the NYRB", The Nation, May 20, 2004, p. 2
  55. ^ Sherman, Scott. "The Rebirth of the NYRB", The Nation, May 20, 2004, p. 1, accessed 18 August 2010
  56. ^ The New York Review of Books,, accessed 20 January 2010
  57. ^ a b c Tucker, Neely. "The New York Review of Books turns 50", The Washington Post, November 6, 2013
  58. ^ Silvers, Robert B.; Barbara Epstein; Rea S. Hederman, eds. (1993). The First Anthology: Thirty Years of the New York Review. New York: New York Review of Books. ISBN 0-940322-01-3.
  59. ^ Fender, Stephen. "The New York Review of Books", The Yearbook of English Studies, Vol. 16, Literary Periodicals Special Number (1986), p. 189 (subscription required)
  60. ^ O'Hagan, Andrew. "Barbara Epstein – Obituaries", The Independent, June 20, 2006, accessed March 13, 2012.
  61. ^ a b Weber, Bruce (December 29, 2009). "David Levine, Astringent Illustrator, Dies at 83". The New York Times. Retrieved December 30, 2009.
  62. ^ Margolick, David. "Levine in Winter," Vanity Fair, November 2008
  63. ^ Wiener, Jon. "Jon Wiener interviews Robert Silvers", Los Angeles Review of Books, June 9, 2013
  64. ^ Ferguson, James. "Notes on ... Robert Silvers", Financial Times, March 24, 2017
  65. ^ Grossman, Ron. "New York Review of Books personal ads reveal intellectuals' romantic ideals", Chicago Tribune, March 13, 2012
  66. ^ Shenton, Mark. "A Round-Heeled Woman, Starring Sharon Gless, to Transfer to West End's Aldwych Theatre", Playbill, November 4, 2011, accessed January 18, 2015
  67. ^ Spencer, Charles. "A Round-Heeled Woman, Aldwych Theatre, review", The Telegraph, December 1, 2011, accessed January 18, 2015
  68. ^ Schudel, Matt. "Robert Silvers, a founding editor of New York Review of Books, dies at 87", The Washington Post, March 21, 2017
  69. ^ "The Amazing Human Launching Pads", "Who Runs New York", New York magazine, September 26, 2010
  70. ^ "NYR Daily". The New York Review of Books. Retrieved March 15, 2019.
  71. ^ Keller, Julia. "Farewell to a champion of ideas", Chicago Tribune, June 26, 2006, accessed October 1, 2014
  72. ^ a b Atlas, James. "The Ma and Pa of the Intelligentsia", New York Magazine, September 18, 2006
  73. ^ Osnos, Peter. "The Phenomenal New York Review of Books, The Atlantic, December 13, 2011
  74. ^ Wolcott, James. "35 Years of Fireworks", The New York Times, October 4, 1998
  75. ^ "In praise of ... New York Review of Books", Editorial, The Guardian, October 25, 2008, p. 34
  76. ^ Salisbury, Vanita. "Oliver Sacks Has Luxuriant Eyelashes". New York magazine, February 9, 2011
  77. ^ Sherman, Scott. "The Rebirth of the NYRB", The Nation, May 20, 2004, p. 5
  78. ^ Bloom, Alexander. Prodigal Sons: The New York Intellectuals and Their World, Oxford University Press, 1987, ISBN 0-19-505177-7; p. 327
  79. ^ a b Lopate, Philip. "Robert Silvers: In memoriam", The American Scholar, March 31, 2017
  80. ^ Reidy, Maurice Timothy. "Minds at Work", America magazine, September 15, 2014
  81. ^ Noah, Timothy. "Robert Silvers: New York’s Presiding Man of Letters", Politico, December 28, 2017
  82. ^ New York Review Books: About Us, The New York Review of Books, accessed March 9, 2019
  83. ^ Gajanan, Mahita. "New York Review of Books archive acquired by New York Public Library", The Guardian, November 17, 2015

External links

Andrew Motion

Sir Andrew Motion (born 26 October 1952) is an English poet, novelist, and biographer, who was Poet Laureate of the United Kingdom from 1999 to 2009. During the period of his laureateship, Motion founded the Poetry Archive, an online resource of poems and audio recordings of poets reading their own work. In 2012, he became President of the Campaign to Protect Rural England, taking over from Bill Bryson.

Barbara Epstein

Barbara Epstein (August 30, 1928 – June 16, 2006) was a literary editor and founding co-editor of The New York Review of Books.

Craig Brown (satirist)

Craig Edward Moncrieff Brown (born 23 May 1957) is an English critic and satirist, best known for his parodies in Private Eye.

David Levine

David Levine (December 20, 1926 – December 29, 2009) was an American artist and illustrator best known for his caricatures in The New York Review of Books. Jules Feiffer has called him "the greatest caricaturist of the last half of the 20th Century".

Desmond Morris

Desmond John Morris (born 24 January 1928) is an English zoologist, ethologist and surrealist painter, as well as a popular author in human sociobiology. He is known for his 1967 book The Naked Ape, and for his television programmes such as Zoo Time.

Elizabeth Hardwick (writer)

Elizabeth Hardwick (July 27, 1916 – December 2, 2007) was an American literary critic, novelist, and short story writer.

Frederick Crews

Frederick Campbell Crews (born 20 February 1933) is an American essayist and literary critic. Professor emeritus of English at the University of California, Berkeley, Crews is the author of numerous books, including The Tragedy of Manners: Moral Drama in the Later Novels of Henry James (1957), E. M. Forster: The Perils of Humanism (1962), and The Sins of the Fathers (1966), a discussion of the work of Nathaniel Hawthorne. He received popular attention for The Pooh Perplex (1963), a book of satirical essays parodying contemporary casebooks. Initially a proponent of psychoanalytic literary criticism, Crews later rejected psychoanalysis, becoming a critic of Sigmund Freud and his scientific and ethical standards. Crews was a prominent participant in the "Freud wars" of the 1980s and 1990s, a debate over the reputation, scholarship and impact on the 20th century of the founder of psychoanalysis.

Crews has published a variety of skeptical and rationalist essays, including book reviews and commentary for The New York Review of Books, on a variety of topics including Freud and recovered memory therapy, some of which were published in The Memory Wars (1995). Crews has also published successful handbooks for college writers, such as The Random House Handbook.

Ian Buruma

Ian Buruma (born December 28, 1951) is a Dutch writer, editor and historian who lives and works in the United States. In 2017, he became editor of The New York Review of Books, but left the position in September 2018.

Much of his writing has focused on the culture of Asia, particularly that of China and 20th-century Japan. He was the Paul W. Williams Professor of Human Rights and Journalism at Bard College from 2003 to 2017.

John Banville

William John Banville (born 8 December 1945), who writes as John Banville and sometimes as Benjamin Black, is an Irish novelist, adapter of dramas, and screenwriter. Recognised for his precise, cold, forensic prose style, Nabokovian inventiveness, and for the dark humour of his generally arch narrators, Banville is considered to be "one of the most imaginative literary novelists writing in the English language today." He has been described as "the heir to Proust, via Nabokov."Banville has received numerous awards in his career. His novel The Book of Evidence was shortlisted for the Booker Prize and won the Guinness Peat Aviation award in 1989. His fourteenth novel, The Sea, won the Booker Prize in 2005. In 2011, Banville was awarded the Franz Kafka Prize, while 2013 brought both the Irish PEN Award and the Austrian State Prize for European Literature. In 2014 he won the Prince of Asturias Award in Letters. He is considered a contender for the Nobel Prize in Literature. Banville's stated ambition is to give his prose "the kind of denseness and thickness that poetry has".He has published a number of crime novels as Benjamin Black, most featuring Quirke, an Irish pathologist based in Dublin.

He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2007. He was made a Cavaliere of the Ordine della Stella d'Italia in 2017.

London Review of Books

The London Review of Books (LRB) is a British journal of literary essays. It is published fortnightly.

Michael Tomasky

Michael John Tomasky (born October 13, 1960) is an American columnist, commentator, journalist and author. He is the editor in chief of Democracy, a special correspondent for Newsweek / The Daily Beast, a contributing editor for The American Prospect, and a contributor to The New York Review of Books.

New York Review Books

New York Review Books (NYRB) is the publishing division of The New York Review of Books. Its imprints are New York Review Books Classics, New York Review Books Collections, The New York Review Children's Collection, New York Review Comics, New York Review Books Poets, and NYRB Lit.

On Photography

On Photography is a 1977 collection of essays by Susan Sontag. It originally appeared as a series of essays in the New York Review of Books between 1973 and 1977.

Robert B. Silvers

Robert Benjamin Silvers (December 31, 1929 – March 20, 2017) was an American editor who served as editor of The New York Review of Books from 1963 to 2017.

Raised on Long Island, New York, Silvers graduated from the University of Chicago in 1947 and attended Yale Law School, but he left before graduating and worked as press secretary to Chester Bowles in 1950. He was sent by the U.S. Army to Paris in 1952 as a speechwriter and press aide, while finishing his education at the Sorbonne and Sciences Po. He soon joined The Paris Review as an editor under the guidance of George Plimpton. From 1959 to 1963, he was an associate editor of Harper's Magazine in New York.

Silvers was co-editor of The New York Review of Books with Barbara Epstein for 43 years, until she died in 2006, and was the sole editor of the magazine after that until his own death in 2017. Philip Marino of Liveright Publishing wrote of him: "Like a chemist pairing ingredients to induce a specific reaction, Silvers has built his career matching the right author and subject, in hopes of generating an exciting and illuminating result." Silvers edited or co-edited several essay anthologies. He appeared prominently in the 2014 documentary film about the Review, The 50 Year Argument.

Silvers' awards and honorary degrees include the National Book Foundation's Literarian Award, the American Academy of Arts and Letters' Award for "Distinguished Service to the Arts", the Ivan Sandrof Award for Lifetime Achievement in Publishing and a National Humanities Medal. Among other honors, he was a Chevalier of the French Légion d’honneur and a member of the French Ordre National du Mérite.

Robert Craft

Robert Lawson Craft (October 20, 1923 – November 10, 2015) was an American conductor and writer. He is best known for his intimate working friendship with Igor Stravinsky, on which Craft drew in producing numerous recordings and books.

The 50 Year Argument

The 50 Year Argument is a documentary film by Martin Scorsese and co-directed by David Tedeschi about the history and influence of the New York Review of Books, which marked its 50th anniversary in 2013. The documentary premiered in June 2014 at the Sheffield Doc/Fest and was soon screened in Oslo and Jerusalem before airing on the British Arena television series in July. It was also screened at the Telluride Film Festival and the Toronto International Film Festival and was seen at the New York Film Festival, in September, and at other film festivals. It first aired on HBO in September 2014 and was given other national broadcasts. It had a limited theatrical release in Toronto in 2015.

The film uses a combination of archival footage, quotes from the Review and contemporary interviews to give a view of the coverage of the journal over its half-century of publication, focusing on how its writers and editors have approached the larger issues of the day. Reviews of the film have been mostly warm.

Tim Parks

Timothy Harold Parks (born 19 December 1954) is a British novelist, translator, author and professor of literature.

Tony Judt

Tony Robert Judt, FBA ( JUT; 2 January 1948 – 6 August 2010) was an English-American historian, essayist and university professor who specialised in European history. Judt moved to New York and served as the Erich Maria Remarque Professor in European Studies at New York University, and Director of NYU's Erich Maria Remarque Institute. He was a frequent contributor to the New York Review of Books. In 1996 Judt was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and in 2007 a corresponding Fellow of the British Academy.


Translation is the communication of the meaning of a source-language text by means of an equivalent target-language text. The English language draws a terminological distinction (not all languages do) between translating (a written text) and interpreting (oral or sign-language communication between users of different languages); under this distinction, translation can begin only after the appearance of writing within a language community.

A translator always risks inadvertently introducing source-language words, grammar, or syntax into the target-language rendering. On the other hand, such "spill-overs" have sometimes imported useful source-language calques and loanwords that have enriched target languages. Translators, including early translators of sacred texts, have helped shape the very languages into which they have translated.Because of the laboriousness of the translation process, since the 1940s efforts have been made, with varying degrees of success, to automate translation or to mechanically aid the human translator. More recently, the rise of the Internet has fostered a world-wide market for translation services and has facilitated "language localization".


This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.