Partisan Review

Accessing Issues Online

Issues of Partisan Review from 1934-2003 are available online for viewing.

About the Magazine

Founded in 1934, Partisan Review magazine was one of the most significant cultural literary journals in the U.S. Throughout its 69-year history (with a brief interregnum in November 1936 to November 1937), Partisan Review editors and contributors have viewed critically both liberal and conservative agendas. Apart from an early connection to the Communist Party, it has eschewed party affiliation.

In addition to art and book reviews, Partisan Review contributors wrote on the cultural and political subjects of the day, ranging from psychology and political theories to feature columns from intellectuals who reported on World War II and the Holocaust, the reintegration of Europe, September 11 and the global rise of terrorism, among other topics. For almost seven decades, the magazine published firsthand accounts of American and European arts and culture, and the political scene of various countries.

Partisan Review is valued for its legendary editors, William Phillips, Philip Rahv (two of its founding editors), and Edith Kurzweil. They provided a forum to publish creative essays, commentary, book reviews, and book excerpts by such writers as Hannah Arendt, James Baldwin, Samuel Beckett, Allen Ginsberg, Franz Kafka, Doris Lessing, George Orwell, Marge Piercy, Jean-Paul Sartre, Roger Shattuck, Susan Sontag, William Styron, Lionel Trilling, and Robert Penn Warren. The entire list of editors and writers is a virtual who’s-who of the cultural and literary world.

In 1978, Partisan Review moved to Boston University under the editorship of William Phillips and Steven Marcus, and Edith Kurzweil as Executive Editor. Several conferences were held at BU by Partisan Review, as in 1982, when they gathered for the first time a number of writers from Eastern Europe and the then- Soviet Union for the conference, “Writers in Exile,” and featured it in a special issue.

Other topics of conferences or special issues in the following years were cultural freedom, education, multiculturalism, and the role of literacy.

The last issue of the magazine, that of Spring 2003, was devoted to “A Tribute to William Phillips.”