Public Philosopher: Selected Letters of Walter Lippmann

John Morton Blum, Editor, Walter Lippmann, Author Ticknor & Fields $29.95 (652p) ISBN 978-0-89919-260-4
What matters in the long run ""is not the fate of particular notions that we may have, but the development of the habit and tradition of trying to speak truthfully about public affairs,'' wrote Walter Lippmann (18991974) to a correspondent in 1931. These letters, selected by Yale historian Blum from among some 20,000 written by the distinguished journalist and critic, show Lippman cultivating that ``habit'' in his personal correspondence with people both famous and obscure, over six decades. These, notes Blum, are Lippmann's public letters, in which he addressed ``the history of his time.'' Important for understanding both the man and his era, the correspondence ranges over matters of war and peace, politics and philosophy, with the writer's characteristic clarity and intelligence. Often, the letters have the quality of Lippmann's columns, written then for the sole perusal of individuals from Lincoln Steffens and Felix Frankfurter to John Foster Dulles and George F. Kennan, and now available to all. Blum's introduction is excellent. November 15
Reviewed on: 11/01/1985
Release date: 11/01/1985
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