Many news stories have appeared in recent months about the rising expectations of the various ethnic minorities in the Soviet Union. Then, too, the Soviet Union is confronted by the threat of Moslem fundamentalism among the myriad followers of Mohammed within its borders. All of these pressures pose a threat to the state which came into being seven decades ago. Yet, according to Soviet historian Hugh Ragsdale, the greatest danger to Soviet power comes not from the non-Russian blocs of the U.S.S.R. but from the Russians themselves.
A frequent visitor to the Soviet Union, most recently last year, Mr. Ragsdale feels “the official ideology in the Soviet Union is utterly moribund and soporific, but there is a charged emotional component of intellectual life among the intelligenty that is utterly absent from intellectual life in the West. . . .its most conspicuous manifestation is the romantic conservativism of the Russian nationalists, and I find them to be as fascinating as they are dangerous.” A native North Carolinian, Mr. Ragsdale received his A.B. Degree from the University of North Carolina and his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Virginia. He is a member of the history faculty at the University of Alabama, where he has taught since 1964, and a former president of the Southern Conference on Slavic Studies.
H. G. Wells has been called the Shakespeare of science fiction and even today he remains, in W. Warren Wagar’s phrase, the “patron saint” of science fiction.
Mr. Wagar has long been interested in science and the role of the scientific imagination. He received his Ph. D. in history from Yale University in 1959 and is now Distinguished Teaching Professor of History at SUNY at Binghamton, NY. His many books include H. G. Wells and the World State, The City of Man, Good Tidings: The Belief in Progress from Darwin to Marcuse, Books in World History, and Terminal Visions.
In making his debut as VQR essayist, Brian C. Rosenberg examines the question of why Mary Lee Settle “one of the most interesting yet overlooked of modern American novelists has received so little critical attention.”
Mr. Rosenberg received his Ph. D. from Columbia University and is presently assistant professor of English at Allegheny College.
Mark Harris published his first novel, Trumpet to the World, in 1946 and since then has produced nine other books of fiction, including such well-known works as The Southpaw, Bang the Drum Slowly, and Wake Up, Stupid. A prolific non-fiction writer as well, Mr. Harris edited and abridged the first six volumes of The Yale Editions of the Private Papers of James Boswell, contributing an introductory essay and six segmental essays, published as The Heart of Boswell, by McGraw-Hill.
Michael Ryan will publish his third collection of poems, God Hunger, this summer with Viking/Penguin. He is a recent winner of the Virginia Prize for Poetry and a Whiting Fellowship and is a faculty member of the Warren Wilson M.F.A. Program in Writing.
One of America’s most distinguished poets, David Ignatow received the Bollingen Prize in 1977. He is the author of 13 books of poetry, the most recent being New and Collected Poems 1970—1985, published by Wesleyan.
A Marine veteran of the Vietnam War, W.D. Ehrhart has written both poetry and prose about his experiences in that conflict. His most recent books include Winter Bells published by Adastra Press last year, Unaccustomed Mercy published by Texas Tech this year, and Passing Time published by McFarland and Company also in 1989.
A frequent VQR essayist and poet, Hank Lazer teaches modern poetry and American literature at the University of Alabama. He recently edited two books, On Louis Simpson (Michigan, 1988) and What is a Poet? (Alabama, 1987).
F. D. Reeve is a poet, novelist, critic, and translator. He is a former chair of the Russian Department at Columbia University and, since 1968, has been Adjunct Professor of Letters at Wesleyan University.
A native New Yorker, David Dwyer has lived since 1974 in Lemmon, South Dakota, where he served two two-year terms on the City Council. He is the author of Other Men and Other Women published in 1986 by Sandhills Press.
James Applewhite is a member of the English faculty at Duke University. His latest VQR poems are from his forthcoming book, Lessons in Soaring, to be published this year by Louisiana.
Sholom J. Kahn became Professor Emeritus at The Hebrew University in Jerusalem this year. A native New Yorker, he completed all his degrees at Columbia University culminating with a philosophy doctorate in aesthetics. He is the author of Science and Aesthetic Judgment: A Study in Taine’s Critical Method.
Joan Walsh received an Emily Clark Balch award for her short story, “Johnny’s Dying,” which appeared in the Summer 1980 issue of VQR. In the interim she has served as chief of the letters section of Time magazine, a post from which she recently retired.
A professor of English at the University of Maryland in College Park, Morris Freedman is the author of two critical studies of modern drama, The Moral Impulse: Drama from Ibsen to Ionesco, and American Drama in Social Context.
A member of the English faculty at the University of Pittsburgh, Hilary Masters was born and raised in Kansas City, Missouri. His new novel, Strickland, the third of the Harlem Valley Trio, which includes Cooper and Clemmons, will be published this year by St. Martin’s.
Edward L. Greenamyre is professor of anthropology at Tennessee Technological University. He has written extensively on such subjects as environmental hazards and collective stress, sociocultural factors in resource exploitation, and protection of elderly and handicapped during civil disasters.
Having grown up in Hollywood as the daughter of well-known columnist Sheilah Graham, Wendy W. Fairey forsook tinsel town (about which she wrote in her VQR Summer 1985 essay, “In My Mother’s House: Images of a Hollywood Childhood”) at an early age to pursue the course of English literature. She holds a Ph. D. in English from Columbia University.
Michael Oriard is associate professor of English at Oregon State University where he teaches American literature and American studies. He writes about American literature, sport, and the conjunction of the two, his major publications being Dreaming of Heroes: American Sports Fiction, 1868—1980 and The End of Autumn: Reflections on My Life in Football. Mr. Oriard did, in fact, play for the Kansas City Chiefs for four years in the early 1970’s and then one year in the Canadian Football League, all during the off-season from graduate studies at Stanford.
Harold H. Kolb, Jr. is a professor of English at the University of Virginia and director of that institution’s Center for Liberal Arts.
Jeffrey Meyers has published D. H. Lawrence and the Experience of Italy, D.H. Lawrence and Tradition, and The Legacy of D.H. Lawrence and is now writing a biography of Lawrence for Knopf.
Douglas Lane Patey is an associate professor of English at Smith College, an authority on the 18th century and the author of Probability and Literary Form: Philosophic Theory and Literary Practice in the Augustan Age.
Robert Coles has had a life long interest in English novelist Charles Dickens and among his other writings is a VQR essay entitled “Dickens and the Law.” One of America’s most prolific authors and critics, Dr. Coles holds a degree in medicine and psychiatry from Harvard University, where he is a member of the faculty.
The prolific Sanford Pinsker, whose most recent VQR contribution was an essay on Irving Howe, is a professor of English at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
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