Magazines: Sharpening the Knife

When the New York Review of Books first appeared four years ago, it was given the kind of hearty welcome usually reserved for long-awaited novels. Here at last were intellectuals putting out a review of depth, personality and bite, one that would treat books and their ideas with the seriousness they deserve. To some extent, Review still does just that. But in the past year or so, a distinct change has come over the tabloid-sized bimonthly.

The Review now runs fewer, if longer, book reviews, and devotes much of its space to New Left political commentary. Back in 1963, for...

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