Fifty years ago today, the New York Review of Books published its first issue. There was a printing strike in New York at the time, and The New York Times temporarily ceased publication. Barbara Epstein and Robert Silvers founded the review with the idea that publishers would be eager to advertise their new books somewhere else, thus making the periodical financially feasible. They drew on their many friends and acquaintances in the literary world, and turned out a first issue that included poems by Robert Lowell, John Berryman, and Adrienne Rich, as well as essays and reviews by Dwight Macdonald, Mary McCarthy, Elizabeth Hardwick, Susan Sontag, Alfred Kazin, Norman Mailer, William Styron, and Gore Vidal, among others.
I mean, seriously—among others? Ha.