Education: The Challenger

For such a well-mannered magazine as the Saturday Review of Literature, the experience was a shock — but the shock was not limited to the magazine. In 1936 a scrappy, pug-nosed man from Utah took over as editor. His name, Bernard DeVoto, soon became a synonym for the atrabilious type of crusader who seems perpetually to be throwing a tantrum. Sinclair Lewis, one of his early targets, called him "a tedious and egotistical fool . . . a pompous and boresome liar." "What," asked Critic Edmund Wilson, "is Mr. DeVoto's real grievance . . . this continual boiling up about other...

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