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Lerner, Max (20 December 1902–05 June 1992), scholar, teacher, and newspaper columnist, was born Maxwell Alan Lerner near Minsk, Russia, the son of Benjamin Lerner, an itinerant scholar, and Bessie Podel. His father emigrated to the United States the next year, and Max followed with his mother and siblings in 1907. After brief jobs in New York and New Jersey, his father moved to New Haven, Connecticut, in 1913 and entered the dairying business....

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Gilbert Seldes Photograph by Carl Van Vechten, 1932. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LOT 12735, no. 1019 P&P).

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Seldes, Gilbert Vivian (03 January 1893–29 September 1970), critic and writer, was born in Alliance, New Jersey, the son of George Sergei Seldes, a pharmacist, and Anna Saphro, who died when Gilbert was three. His only sibling, George Seldes, became a distinguished journalist known for his coverage of European affairs between the world wars. Their father, a freethinker of Russian Jewish descent, sought to convert his farm into an anarchist utopian colony. When that did not succeed, he entered the drugstore business. He enjoyed friendships with ...