Books from the Library of Robert B. Silvers

Books from the Library of Robert B. Silvers

 

ROBERT B. SILVERS, polymath and legendary editor, was not a book collector in the customary sense. He and Barbara Epstein were founding co-editors of The New York Review of Books in 1963 and its co-editors until Barbara’s death in 2006. His interest in books and authors is recorded in the essays he commissioned over a fifty-year period, in the range of his friendships, and in a lifelong commitment to human rights issues. Not a book collector, but his stature in the republic of letters meant that authors, and friends, sometimes inscribed their works to him. This selection of books from the library and office shelves of Robert B. Silvers documents associations from his early years in Paris (including his set of the early numbers of The Paris Review) through his long tenure at the editorial desk of the Review. His was the most ferocious intellect I ever encountered, a man who conversed with poets and nuclear arms negotiators, historians and legal specialists, littérateurs and neuroscientists. The Archives of The New York Review of Books, with the papers of Barbara Epstein and Robert Silvers, now at the New York Public library, tell the larger story of the authors Silvers collected. This list offers a glimpse of some of the books along the way. (HWW)

(Portrait of Robert B. Silvers by Dominique Nabokov)

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