The Years with Ross

The Years with Ross At the helm of America s most influential literary magazine for than half a century Harold Ross introduced the country to a host of exciting talent including Robert Benchley Alexander Woolcott Ogd

  • Title: The Years with Ross
  • Author: James Thurber
  • ISBN: 9780060959715
  • Page: 448
  • Format: Paperback
  • At the helm of America s most influential literary magazine for than half a century, Harold Ross introduced the country to a host of exciting talent, including Robert Benchley, Alexander Woolcott, Ogden Nash, Peter Arno, Charles Addams, and Dorothy Parker But no one could have written about this irascible, eccentric genius affectionately or critically thanAt the helm of America s most influential literary magazine for than half a century, Harold Ross introduced the country to a host of exciting talent, including Robert Benchley, Alexander Woolcott, Ogden Nash, Peter Arno, Charles Addams, and Dorothy Parker But no one could have written about this irascible, eccentric genius affectionately or critically than James Thurber an American icon in his own right whose portrait of Ross captures not only a complex literary giant but a historic friendship and a glorious era as well If you get Ross down on paper, warned Wolcott Gibbs to Thurber, nobody will ever believe it But readers of this unforgettable memoir will find that they do.

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    About "James Thurber"

    1. James Thurber

      Thurber was born in Columbus, Ohio to Charles L Thurber and Mary Agnes Mame Fisher Thurber Both of his parents greatly influenced his work His father, a sporadically employed clerk and minor politician who dreamed of being a lawyer or an actor, is said to have been the inspiration for the small, timid protagonist typical of many of his stories Thurber described his mother as a born comedienne and one of the finest comic talents I think I have ever known She was a practical joker, on one occasion pretending to be crippled and attending a faith healer revival, only to jump up and proclaim herself healed.Thurber had two brothers, William and Robert Once, while playing a game of William Tell, his brother William shot James in the eye with an arrow Because of the lack of medical technology, Thurber lost his eye This injury would later cause him to be almost entirely blind During his childhood he was unable to participate in sports and activities because of his injury, and instead developed a creative imagination, which he shared in his writings.From 1913 to 1918, Thurber attended The Ohio State University, where he was a member of the Phi Kappa Psi Fraternity He never graduated from the University because his poor eyesight prevented him from taking a mandatory ROTC course In 1995 he was posthumously awarded a degree.From 1918 to 1920, at the close of World War I, Thurber worked as a code clerk for the Department of State, first in Washington, D.C and then at the American Embassy in Paris, France After this Thurber returned to Columbus, where he began his writing career as a reporter for the Columbus Dispatch from 1921 to 1924 During part of this time, he reviewed current books, films, and plays in a weekly column called Credos and Curios, a title that later would be given to a posthumous collection of his work Thurber also returned to Paris in this period, where he wrote for the Chicago Tribune and other newspapers.In 1925, he moved to Greenwich Village in New York City, getting a job as a reporter for the New York Evening Post He joined the staff of The New Yorker in 1927 as an editor with the help of his friend and fellow New Yorker contributor, E.B White His career as a cartoonist began in 1930 when White found some of Thurber s drawings in a trash can and submitted them for publication Thurber would contribute both his writings and his drawings to The New Yorker until the 1950s.Thurber was married twice In 1922, Thurber married Althea Adams The marriage was troubled and ended in divorce in May 1935 Adams gave Thurber his only child, his daughter Rosemary Thurber remarried in June, 1935 to Helen Wismer His second marriage lasted until he died in 1961, at the age of 66, due to complications from pneumonia, which followed upon a stroke suffered at his home His last words, aside from the repeated word God, were God bless God damn, according to Helen Thurber.

    148 thoughts on “The Years with Ross”

    1. Ross, the Algonquin Round Table and all the gang--great, legendary NY lore. Love Dorothy Parker, Benchley. My favorite thing of Thurber's, and one of my favorite and funniest stories ever, is Thurber's 'The Night the Bed Fell'. It's become a sort of family classic. My mom read it to me when I was little and I howled with laughter; read it to my own daughter when she was little and she too loves it. I also teach the story (American English, American humor).

    2. If he had not existed, it would have been necessary to invent Harold Ross and some New Yorker staffers such as E.B. and Katherine White felt Thurber did. Whether he misrepresented Ross, this remains a brilliantly funny biography and as much about Thurber as it is about the founder of the New Yorker. Read it first as a young teen and more than several times since - Ross has always stuck in my mind, his endless search for the Jesus who would instill order into the running of the magazine, his doom [...]

    3. James Thurber was a humorist who wrote for the New Yorker. Harold Ross, eccentric founder and longtime editor for New Yorker, was known for micromanaging, obsessiveness with grammar/usage, and for his blustering tirades. This book is about their interactions, which were often colorful, as well as the other figures surrounding the early days of the magazine. I recognized only a small fraction of the many names mentioned throughout the book, but still enjoyed reading about these eccentric, lovable [...]

    4. An essential book for every (particularly nonfiction) writer or person who cares about how good writing is produced, written by one of the masters. Laugh out loud moments as well as incisive comments on American writing, editing and publishing as it developed through the New Yorker in the mid 20th Century. Every few years, I dip into this book and once again become smitten with its sentences.

    5. This may be my favorite book. Ever. Funny, and fascinating characters. Like the story about the New Yorker staffer who came int the office agog with the news that he had sen Ross tobogganing over the weekend. "You're kidding!" was the response. "What did he look like?" The guy thought, then said, "Well, you know what he looks like *not* tobogganing."

    6. James Thurber. From an era where people spoke their minds in articulate, concrete ways, and not for oneupmanship. Refreshing, intoxicating, real. A must read for any New Yorker fan, or one fascinated by imperfect starts made on unknown grounds of awkward greatness.

    7. I think this is the edition I have, although I have one with a dustcover. The dustcover has protected the book proper, though it's taken a beating itself.This book is sadly in need of an index. For example, I wanted to check when Chas Addams began publishing his cartoons in the New Yorker--but in order to find it, I had to read straight through. I knew roughly when it was--but I still couldn't flip through to the right point. I just had to wait 'til I got to it.If you're in any doubt that this w [...]

    8. Written by the wonderful American humorist and illustrator, James Thurber, this account of Thurber's experience working with Ross at the New Yorker magazine presents not only a vivid picture of Ross himself but also describes what it was like to work at the New York offices of the magazine during Ross' stint as editor. From its inception until Ross' premature death, Thurber helps the reader feel as though she were a part of the staff, being forced to sit through "art" meetings, bored to death if [...]

    9. I got this book for a snip - an old paperback version - and I laughed so much - Ross was certainly someone - a character. You must read this because it gives you a great insight into the magazine world and writing.

    10. What a lovely insight into the beginnings of the New Yorker, it's founder and long-time first editor Harold Ross, and Thurber himself. as a bonus, readers get a beautiful new foreword by Adam Gopnick. It could make you want to live 75 years ago, or be a writer, or live in New York, depending on your personal leanings. Overall, it's a fantastic glimpse into another world.

    11. I really wanted to like this book, and I gather from the reviews that almost everyone else has found it deeply satisfying. I am a great fan of "The New Yorker," and have read it all my life. I grew up with people connected with the magazine and several of my elementary school classmates have written for it. And a large number of the people referred to are names with which I am familiar.Maybe that's the problem. I hoped to know more about this amazing cast of characters, but there are few anecdot [...]

    12. Truth be known, I'm not sure how much of this I read. I went through a period when I read a lot of Thurber, and I think much of what I know about Ross comes from this book--but maybe not. I think there was at least one essay in another of Thurber's books which was seedstock of this book. While going through my back reading material (It do pile up, don't it?), I encountered a review from Punch about this book, so I must have meant to search out a copy at some time. I'll put it with the other revi [...]

    13. Thurber's writing never disappoints, and this book is no exception.However, with the inevitable passage of time, the book has become dated, a bit anachronistic. He mentions scores of people who were titans during his era (Thirties, Forties I'm thinking, mostly), but those people are seldom heard of today - with the notable exception of Dorothy Parker who will prob never go out of style!Years with Ross (a very odd duck, esp for editor of such a magazine as The New Yorker) was a pleasure, but it's [...]

    14. I loved reading Thurber's humor essays and stories when I was younger but wasn't much interested in his memoirs of working with Harold Ross at the New Yorker. Now years later, being a writer myself, I found it a warm and entertaining accounting of working at the magazine along side such giants as Robert Benchley, E. B. White, Wolcott Gibbs, and many others. Most enjoyable even if it is far from the definitive book on the subject.

    15. Very interesting memoir/history of Harold Ross and the New Yorker from one of the magazine's key contributors for many years. Thurber was very fond of Ross but recognized the shortcomings that made Ross difficult for other to like and/or work for. So would this be a "warts and all" account? Made me want to re-read Brendan Gill's "Here at the New Yorker." After that, I may go back to revisit this book and add to these comments.

    16. Would recommend: YesAh, my continuing education on The New Yorker continues with this Thurber work. I loved it. Reading Thurber is like reading the genesis of my mom's sense of humor, and as an extension, mine. I would laugh aloud, then read the line, and get blank stares in response. Whatever! I didn't recognize all of the names he dropped, but it was fun to re-enter the world of the magazine. It almost makes me want to subscribe to it, even though I know I can't keep up with it.

    17. While reading this was part of a class assignment, I'm glad I did. Thurber's account of his boss, compatriot, and friend reveals the delicate and completely neurotic and anal tendencies of a timid genius who steered THE NEW YORKER to brilliance, time and again. It gave me a new appreciation of the tone and quality of the magazine, and the changes, adaptations, and ideas that went into making it what it is today. Thanks, Ross.

    18. I'm a fan of Thurber's work, and this has some good stories about the founder of "The New Yorker." It's definitely from its time, which is both a strength and a weakness. Some of the references require a bit of research, but the style of the writing is wonderful and the feel of the period makes one nostalgic for an era that was actually before my time. (I wonder - is that even possible? Or am I just enamored with the idea of living that life in that place with those people?)

    19. Another one just remembered. I wonder how many more are lost up there in the dusty shelves of memory? I think my mother gave me this back in the day. Date read is a wild guess. I got my New Yorker habit from her even though she wasn't much of an intellectual or anything. Neither am I for that matter. I just love to read about stuff. I haven't been without a subscription for long since I've got put of the Navy in '69. Good Job Harold!

    20. The New Yorker is my absolute favorite magazine. I don't really read magazines, but I read The New Yorker. This book is written by James Thurber, a very close friend of Harold Ross, the man who started The New Yorker. There are parts of the book that were slow, but overall, it was an enjoyable and humorous tribute from one friend to another.

    21. From Writer's Almanac (for Nov. 6, 2009) online:writersalmanac.publicradio/"A new edition of James Thurber's _The Years with Ross_ (replete with Thurber's illustrations) was released in 2001." " 1957 he published a biographical memoir called _The Years with Ross_."Harold Ross was the first editor of The New Yorker magazine.

    22. I actually have an older edition, from a used bookstore in the town where I went to college. I was in awe of The New Yorker and anyone associated with it then. For good reason. Great book. I reread it as part of my new year's resolution to read what's on the selves for awhile instead of buying new books.

    23. There's a lot about Thurber in this book, but by the end I felt like I had a clear sense of the amazing person Harold Ross was. I'm not sure I got all the jokes, maybe because there was some New Yorker insider humor, or because a lot of them were about people and places in the first half of the 20th century.

    24. Interesting insights into the origin and first quarter-century of New Yorker magazine, especiallythe role and personality of founder and editor in chief, Harold W. Ross. The author, James Thurber, served during most of this period as an editor, writer, and artist. Many anecdotes about the writers and artists who contributed to the magazine during those years.

    25. James Thurber's great memoir about his boss during the classic years of The New Yorker Magazine - a magazine by the way that I don't read! Nevertheless I am fascinated with anything that deals with publishing or editing - and there are a quite a few funny and interesting stories among these pages. Thurber is someone I want to check out more intensely.

    26. If you are a writer or editor and/or a fan of the New Yorker, I highly recommend The Years with Ross by James Thurber. One of the best books I have ever read. A witty and beautifully rendered portrait of Harold Ross by someone who loved him dearly. God bless Ross and Thurber both.

    27. Thurber tosses the reader into life in the office with Harold Ross, whom I'd not heard of before reading the book. Thurber is a skilled, funny writer with a great knack for characterization. This is one of my favorite books.

    28. Amazing book; couldn't put it down. In entertaining and fine prose, Thurber paints a moving picture of Ross. I was previously uneducated in The New Yorker, its philosophy, history, and founder, but this book opened a door into that world and I don't think I can close it! Beautiful.

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