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Max Eastman does not occupy a place in the pantheon of the left. He once did. By the end of the First World War, he was "one of the hottest of radicals" of his day, in the words of Countryside magazine. To the few on the left who remember him, he was the idiosyncratic editor who breathed creative life into the journal the Masses. To the even fewer on the right who recognize his name, it was Eastman's journey from the left into the anticommunist camp in the late 1930s and 1940s that stands out. Eastman's name, then, is largely forgotten and his legacy for both left and right unsurprisingly remains unexplored.
Eric Arnesen reviews Max Eastman: A Life by Christoph Irmscher