Clifford Odets

Radical playwright and screenwriter Clifford Odets, whose Depression-era dramas Waiting for Lefty and Awake and Sing! were cultural sensations that had enduring impact on his generation of writers, was born to Jewish immigrants in Philadelphia on this date in 1906. Raised in the Bronx, he dropped out of high school to pursue acting, and became a founding actor in Harold Clurman’s […]

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The Lorelei Fountain

Ernst Herter, a prominent German sculptor (not Jewish) whose monument to the lyric poet Heinrich Heine landed in the Bronx after Heine’s hometown, Düsseldorf, rejected it in an atmosphere of antisemitism, was born in Berlin on this date in 1846. Herter was best known as a sculptor of mythological figures, including “The Dying Achilles (1884), […]

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Among Young Communists in the Bronx

by Marissa Piesman Discussed in this essay: A Distant Heartbeat: A War, a Disappearance, and a Family’s Secrets, by Eunice Lipton. University of Mexico Press, 2016, 176 pages. I WILL WILLINGLY read any book in which “YCL” (Young Communists League) and “Tremont Avenue” appear in the same sentence — and Eunice Lipton’s family memoir was […]

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