Year of Change

E. J. Kahn, Author Viking Books $19.95 (304p) ISBN 978-0-670-82411-3
Among Kahn's many books, The New Yorker & Me is perhaps best known. In this worthy successor, he offers the daily journal he kept as a 70-year-old in 1987, the year he celebrated his 50th year of writing for the magazine and his 50th Harvard class reunion. Here he chronicles the great changes that staff members thought would take place at the New Yorker when William Shawn was forcibly retired and Robert Gottlieb took over as editor, and the gradual adaptations that occurred. But even more of the journal is given over to Kahn's social and literary life, the stories he wanted to write and those that eventually were accepted for publication, his travels in America and Europe, the parties he attended or gave, the restaurants at which he ate, the crossword puzzles he solved, the dog he walked in New York and lost on Cape Cod. Kahn claims, ``I don't like to name drop,'' but as a man who has written thousands of items for the New Yorker 's ``Talk of the Town'' and who loves mixing with people, he cannot help dropping names on almost every page of this charmingly candid book. But how could an inveterate fact-checker like Kahn state that his classmate Gerard Piel, born in 1915, founded Scientific American , launched in 1845? (September)
Reviewed on: 09/01/1988
Release date: 09/01/1988
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