Blake Bailey’s new book about Philip Roth was taken out of print by the publisher after Bailey was accused of rape and attempted rape and “grooming” his teenage students for sex with him when they reached 18. Nation columnist Katha Pollitt argues that, while she believes the women—Bailey probably was a rapist, as well as a misogynist and a creep—readers should nevertheless have the chance to buy the book and come to their own conclusions.
Also: Literature, art, and the idea of ‘freedom’ during the Cold War, from George Orwell to James Baldwin to The Family of Man: Louis Menand has been thinking about all of this. His new book is The Free World: Art and Thought in the Cold War. Menand teaches at Harvard and writes for The New Yorker. 5-5-2021
Rapists, Misogynists, Creeps, and their Books: Katha Pollitt on Blake Bailey, plus Louis Menand on Cold War Culture