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I’ve long loved The New Yorker and have a particular interest in its early years—the time of Dorothy Parker (who I wanted to be when I grew up … and still do), the time when writers gathered at the Algonquin Round Table, the time when Harold Ross, the founder of The New Yorker, was also the editor, and James Thurber was a contributing writer. I bought this memoir in a used bookstore decades ago, and it remains one of my very favorite books. Ross was irascible, unintentionally hilarious, and a brilliant editor, and thus a most perfect subject for a book. It’s not only packed with literary history and anecdotes about the remarkably articulate and witty writers of the day, it also touches on the process of writing and editing. If Thurber embellished the “truth,” well, the book is so damn funny, endearing, and charming, and Thurber exhibits so much tenderness and affection for his subject, who cares! I treasure this book.— From Jeanne's Picks
At the helm of America's most influential literary magazine for more than half a century, Harold Ross introduced the country to a host of exciting talent, including Robert Benchley, Alexander Woolcott, Ogden Nash, Peter Arno, Charles Addams, and Dorothy Parker. But no one could have written about this irascible, eccentric genius more affectionately or more critically than James Thurber -- an American icon in his own right -- whose portrait of Ross captures not only a complex literary giant but a historic friendship and a glorious era as well. "If you get Ross down on paper," warned Wolcott Gibbs to Thurber," nobody will ever believe it." But readers of this unforgettable memoir will find that they do.