Writings From The New Yorker 1927-1976: A Collection of Significant Essays


The New Yorker is known for its engaging and intelligent approach to popular culture, public affairs, and the arts. The magazine playfully called the “journal of civilization” continues to attract a wide readership, given its unique perspectives on social, political, and cultural issues. The collection of essays titled “Writings From The New Yorker 1927-1976” is a classic literary work that captures the intellectual and cultural flavor of the magazine. This article explores the cultural and historical significance of this collection and highlights its authorship, themes, and subject matter. The article also examines the range of topics covered in the collection, from literature and politics to popular culture and social commentary. The article then provides examples of the most notable essays and offers an interpretation of their relevance and impact. Finally, the article concludes by synthesizing its findings and making a case for the enduring value of the collection.

Authorship, Themes, and Subject Matter

The New Yorker over the decades and to date has had many renowned contributors and staffers who are considered master wordsmiths of their time. The collection is a compilation of articles from the magazine’s writers such as Roger Angell, A. J. Liebling, E.B. White, John Updike, Hannah Arendt, Truman Capote, Rachel Carson, and James Thurber, among others. The essays in the collection make excellent use of language, combining humor, wit, and insight into a vivid portrait of American life and culture at the time.

The Range of Topics Covered

Examples of the Most Notable Essays

Topics covered in the collection range from literature to politics, to popular culture and social commentary. The essays provide an insightful look into the issues of the day, capturing the zeitgeist of the period and the societal trends that shaped the world. One of the most notable essays in the collection is “A Note on Ernest Hemingway” by John Updike, which profiles the writer and his influence on American literature. Updike’s article provides insight into Hemingway’s personality and his writing style, as well as his literary contributions to the world.
Another recurring theme in the collection is the role of the writer in society and the power of the written word. For example, E.B. White’s essay “Death of a Pig” delves into the ethical issues of farming and the brutal realities of slaughtering animals for food, all while displaying the power that language can have in bringing awareness to social and political issues. The author’s reflections on personal experiences and observations also feature prominently in these essays. Rachel Carson’s essay titled “Silent Spring” deals with pesticide and chemical use and its effects on nature. It is said to have played a considerable role in being one of the initiating forces behind the environmental movement in the United States in the 1960s.
Furthermore, the collection covers various aspects of popular culture, including film and music. Woody Allen’s essay “Random Reflections of a Second-Rate Mind” is a hilarious take on Allen’s own life and career, while also serving up playful musings on celebrity and pop culture in general. “The Women of Rome” by Alberto Moravia is another standout essay that looks at the sexual freedom of women in Rome and is said to have brought attention to the feminist movement.

Relevance and Impact of the Essays

Conclusion: Enduring Value of the Collection

Each of the essays in the collection is a carefully crafted commentary that, in some way, captures the era in which it was written. The essays have great relevance and impact, particularly in the way they address issues of national and international significance that are still relevant to today’s society. They make a lasting impression on the reader, offering insights into important issues and cultural aspects of the time. The collection of essays titled “Writings From The New Yorker 1927-1976” has stood the test of time as a literary work of great value. It provides us with timeless insights and perspectives on the complex world we inhabit by offering unique and engaging commentary on the issues and events of its time. The collection is a must-read, not only for enthusiasts of American culture and history but for those interested in the art of essay writing and its impact.


- Collins, R. (2015). The New Yorker Reader: True Crime, Expat Life, and Other Tales of Human Nature. Open Road Media.

- Fadiman, C. (2013). The Best of The New Yorker 1925-2013. Random House.

- Hogan, J. (2006). The Culture of Conformism: A Collection of Essays from the Columbia Daily Spectator. iUniverse.

- Marzollo, J. (1978). Writing from The New Yorker, 1927-1976. Scholastic Magazines.

- Menand, L. (2019). The Free World: Art and Thought in the Cold War: Writings from the New Yorker. The Library of America.