THE YEARS WITH ROSS by James Thurber

THE YEARS WITH ROSS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A biography, which is also a composite picture, of the mainspring of the New Yorker, presents Harold Wallace Ross during his 27 year marriage to that magazine, as the author, and many others, knew and remembered him. From a series of pieces in the Atlantic Monthly this has turned into an "ordeal of love", in which the research, the recall with friends and fellow workers, and the whole backtracking of sidelights on Ross, his standards for his publication and his methods of running it, meshes into a many prismed view of the man, his time, his editorship, his writers and staff, and the growth of a provincial sheet into an internationally accepted American weekly. There are stories and stories, about the art conferences, the various departments and the parade of names that contributed -- or failed to -- the magazine's growing stature: Sayre, Johnston, Ingersoll, Sullivan, Cheever, Addams, Hokinson, Arno, Woollcott (and the non-stop mutual sniping between him and Ross), Gibbs, the Whites, O'Hara, Lardner, Mosher, Parker, Benchley, McNulty, Walker, Wilson, McKelway, and more and more. The $71,000 embezzlement by Ross' private secretary, Harold Winney; the legal crises and law suits; the intramural feuds, even with Raoul Fleischmann whose money kept the wheels turning from its earliest, unpromising days, down to the running of the whole office; and, above and beyond, the fighting, snarling, obdurate, ignorant, remarkable, worried, wondering, baying, troubled --and perfection seeking editor -- the Ross, at his worst and at his best, whose warming touches kept loyalties (and the right enemies) to the lonely, failing end in 1951. An affirmation of a love for a man, as well as his profession, this accords full tribute, to one whom many will "never forget as long as I live", with mind as well as heart. Thurber's drawings will enhance this commemorative.

Pub Date: May 28th, 1959
ISBN: 0060959711
Page count: 316pp
Publisher: Little, Brown
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1st, 1959




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