The honest, witty, erudite Hilton Kramer

Bradley W. Anderson begins his tribute to the great Hilton Kramer in the September/October issue of Touchstone magazine with the story of why Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn insisted that only Kramer could conduct his first New York Times interview. It was not only Kramer’s dependable truth telling but his understanding of the high stakes involved in succumbing to political and cultural nihilism.

Anderson writes, “Just as Solzhenitsyn chronicled the history of oppression in the Soviet Union in painful detail, knowing it was necessary, Kramer’s writings recorded the history of the corresponding war of ideas as it took place in the art galleries, museums, and literary institutions of the West.” Kramer, of course, went on to found The New Criterion (along with Samuel Lipman). He may not have been able to claim victory in the culture wars but Kramer won commanding respect from both admirers and opponents during The New Criterion’s first 30 years until his recent death. Read more here: