The Presidency: The Festival Guest Here Beat His Breast

I was a fire-breathing Catholic C.O., and made my manic statement, telling off the state and president, and then sat waiting sentence in the bull pen beside a Negro boy with curlicues of marijuana in his hair.

—Memories of West Street and Lepke, by Robert Lowell

During World War II, Boston-born Robert Lowell was a C.O.—a conscientious objector. Refusing to be drafted into the Army, he served six months in a federal prison. Since that time, the great-grandnephew of Poet James Russell Lowell has gone on to write several volumes of widely praised,...

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