“Excellent new biography …. [Hoffer’s] name has gradually faded from view. Yet, as his biographer points out, Hoffer continues to contribute insightful ideas and opinions to society, which is why we ought to look to his writings once again.” – The New Criterion, September 2012
Known as the longshoreman philosopher, Eric Hoffer was a beloved and controversial figure. Using Hoffer’s never-before-seen archives, this biography uncovers the steps by which an unschooled migrant field hand and dockworker created himself as an artist and thinker, relates how his background and occupations were reflected in his published works, and analyzes Hoffer’s books and articles and their impact on his times.
“As complete and masterful a biography as could be imagined, a great study of Hoffer, an American icon—provocative and stimulating. Shachtman also provides an interesting view of the period.” -Herbert S. Parmet, biographer of Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon
“This fascinating book arrives at just the right time: Hoffer’s views of America are heartening, and his distrust of intellectuals must now be a warning. Shachtman does a brilliant job of capturing Hoffer with a high level of craftsmanship.” -Arthur Taylor, former president, CBS, Inc.
“A book that goes beyond the promise of its title to deliver a crisp account of Hoffer’s life and all-too interesting times, and a remarkably clear, sympathetic but critical explanation of Hoffer’s provocative thinking and the evolution of his social and psychological insights.” -John G.Ryden, director emeritus, Yale University Press
”Eric Hoffer speaks with remarkable clarity to many of today’s most difficult questions. Tom Shachtman presents this visionary thinker and his ideas with page-turning style and thought-provoking insight. A long overdue rediscovery of the longshoreman philosopher by a fine writer.” -Walter W. Woodward, State Historian, Connecticut
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