A Walker in the City by Alfred Kazin

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Critical Context

(Literary Essentials: Nonfiction Masterpieces)

Alfred Kazin’s conscious reason for writing A Walker in the City was certainly personal. The success of his first book, On Native Grounds, doubtless inspired in him the desire to explain himself more fully, to resolve the apparent paradox that he seemed to many to represent as a non-American critic of American literature. It is not likely, however, that that was Kazin’s sole motivation. With the perspicacity of hindsight, it is possible to associate Kazin’s autobiographical memoir with other events then occurring in the literary world, and particularly with the remarkable post-World War II flowering of American-Jewish...

(The entire section is 204 words.)