Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Arnold Beichman, R.I.P.

From the article by John Podhoretz:

What a life he lived! I'm talking about a man who grew up on the Lower East Side, a Yiddish-speaking son of a pious working-class father who made his way to Columbia University in the late 1920s — there to edit theColumbia Spectator along with the man who would be his lifelong friend, Herman Wouk. In the 1930s he worked for what was called the "exploitation department" of Warner Bros., I believe, writing press releases about Jimmy Cagney's command of Yiddish and showing Cagney around New York during a publicity tour. (He knew Babe Ruth too.) He then became a journalist, and had a storied career, going from the New York Herald Tribune to PM to other places, as a labor reporter and city editor and foreign correspondent. He wrote cover stories for Newsweek about the anti-imperialist wars in Africa in the late 1950s and 1960s. In his 50s he decided he needed to educate himself better and went to get himself a Ph.D. in history, then became a teacher, and then, in his 60s, embarked on yet another career as a Sovietologist of distinction. He was writing regularly until he was 95.

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