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What Was the Jewish Literary Mafia – And Did It Exist?

Hosted By: The Siegal Lifelong Learning Program at Case Western Reserve University

In the 1960s and 1970s, many American authors, Jewish and non-Jewish alike, complained about a “Jewish literary mafia” that was controlling American publishing. This talk will examine where these complaints arose, with attention to celebrated publishing houses (Knopf, Random House, Simon & Schuster, and Farrar, Straus and Giroux), prizes (the National Book Award), magazines (Commentary and the New York Review of Books), and authors (Saul Bellow and Cynthia Ozick). What can conspiracies, conflicts-of-interest, and nepotism teach us about the history of American literature?

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