Max Forrester Eastman (1883-1969)
Eastman was an American writer, journalist and poet as well as a Marxist critic, who strongly influenced American criticism after the First World War. He taught philosophy at Columbia. He helped found the magazines The Masses (1911) with Floyd Dell (whom John Cowper knew) and after that, in 1918, The Liberator. He worked with the Communist John Reed and with the anarchist Emma Goldman. He later became an associate of the exiled Leon Trotsky and his translator, editing his works for publication in America. During the second World War he began to question his socialist beliefs. In 1955 he turned against Socialism and became a strong supporter of McCarthyism. He is the author of The Enjoyment of Poetry (1913), Since Lenin Died (1925) and Reflections on the Failure of Socialism (1955). His autobiography Love and Revolution (1965) appeared shortly before his death.
I met M.E. He talked of Pushkin.... Eastman said he had a welling and brimming-over happiness. Eastman suddenly said "You have bought a house too far from people for me. I like a lot of people round me" he said. I think I detected something about him curiously alien to me but he looked a very good man. (John Cowper Powys, 1930 Diary, Sat. 8th February)