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Locke, Alain Leroy (13 September 1885–09 June 1954), philosopher and literary critic, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of Pliny Ishmael Locke, a lawyer, and Mary Hawkins, a teacher and member of the Felix Adler Ethical Society. Locke graduated from Central High School and the Philadelphia School of Pedagogy in Philadelphia in 1904. That same year he published his first editorial, “Moral Training in Elementary Schools,” in ...

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Alain Leroy Locke. Oil on canvas, 1943-1944, by Betsy Graves Reyneau. National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of the Harmon Foundation.

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Paterson, Isabel (22 January 1886–10 January 1961), noted book critic and libertarian thinker, was born on Manitoulin Island in Ontario, Canada, to Francis and Margaret Bowler, recent settlers in the area who ran a grist mill. In the years after her birth her parents moved their family of nine children between Michigan, Utah, and other western territories before returning again to Canada, where they established a ranch. Isabel's childhood was marked by poverty and persistent clashes with her shiftless father. She and her siblings were expected to help support the family, and she received only about two years of formal schooling. Nonetheless Isabel loved to read and sought out books wherever they could be found. She was proud to identify herself as a daughter of the frontier and would later ground her individualism in the values of self-sufficiency and hard work she had learned as a child....