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Goodman, Paullocked

(09 September 1911–02 August 1972)
  • Kingsley Widmer


Goodman, Paul (09 September 1911–02 August 1972), libertarian social-cultural critic and man of letters, was born in New York City, the son of Augusta Goodman, of German-Jewish middle-class background and a traveling saleswoman of apparel. His father, Barnett Goodman, abandoned the family around the time of Paul’s birth, and he was raised mostly by aunts and an older sister. Following a good record in humanities in New York City public schools, he majored in philosophy at the City College of New York (A.B., 1931). Then he worked as a counselor at a Zionist youth camp, was a sometime graduate student at Columbia University, and became a bohemian litterateur within a New York Jewish left-intellectual circle. His longest period outside the New York he fervently identified with was as a graduate student at the University of Chicago (1936–1940), studying literature and philosophy, finally receiving a Ph.D. in 1954....

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