Magazine article Dissent

The Last Page

Magazine article Dissent

The Last Page

Article excerpt

Marshall was a good friend over many years-almost half a century; he was a political comrade for all those years; and he was a lovely human being. My wife, Judy, and I knew him first as a very vulnerable young man, a graduate student, miserable in Harvard's government department (as I had been not many years before). When he was especially unhappy, he would visit us and hang out in our house, with our kids. I think that we raised his spirits, and he certainly raised ours. I remember vividly how he dragged us to the first Earth Day celebration in Cambridge, on the banks of the Charles River. Judy and I were skeptical, probably wrongly, but Marshall and our two daughters had a wonderful time.

Marshall was in important ways a child of the sixties. Though he hated the way that decade ended, in ultra-left posturing and experiments in violence, he never turned his back on all that had gone before. He relished every liberating and every participatory moment. This produced in some of the Dissent elders a certain wariness, so it was some years before he was fully admitted to our little circle. I was never wary, in part because Marshall and I had another connection: he was, as I am, a man of the left and a lover of Zion. Those haven't always been commitments easy to combine, but he combined them with grace.

He was also a Marxist, of sorts, though the images of Marx that he put on his book covers and his T-shirts were not the ones we are accustomed to. I can say with confidence that Marshall was not a Marxist Marxist, but one of his own kind. He focused on the writings of the young Marx, and I have always thought that in reading those texts he also improved them.

Eventually, the other editors of Dissent recognized in Marshall the high intellect that they required and admired-and they recognized something else too: a buoyancy of spirit that could lift us all and make Dissent a better magazine. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.