John Rodden

John Rodden is the author of several books on George Orwell, Lionel Trilling, and Irving Howe, among other works.

Recent Articles

Dwight and Left

In 1958, writing in the Jesuit weekly America , the historian John Lukacs speculated whether Dwight Macdonald might become “The American Orwell.” Noting that Macdonald's American “reputation is rising,” Lukacs wrote that he was already known among British intellectuals “as one of the most interesting American critics of these times.” In particular Lukacs lauded Macdonald's “lonely and courageous positions” in the mid-1940s -- on Yalta, the Allied insistence on unconditional surrender, the mistreatment of Japanese-Americans -- and argued that Macdonald's political stance “coincides with the often lonely positions taken by George Orwell amidst the leftist intelligentsia in Britain.” The comparison might seem absurd nowadays. Orwell is a household name who commands an astonishingly broad audience. By contrast, the name Dwight Macdonald often occasions the response, “Dwight who?” -- along with the inevitable misspelling of his surname to match that of the hamburger chain. Back in 2003,...