Winter 2003 • Vol. XXV No. 1 Nonfiction |

Paul Goodman as an Advance-Guard Writer

When Paul Goodman died in 1972, he was as famous as a public intellectual can become in America. His books stood on the shelves in every college bookstore, his ideas part of the legacy of social experiment and political protest we call "the sixties." In those days you could hardly go to the dentist without finding his name in some magazine. But before the publication of Growing Up Absurd in 1960, Goodman was almost unknown, even though he had already written several of his most important and lasting books by mid-century—the ones still in print today: ▪ Communitas (written with his architect brother during the war and published in 1947) initiated a moral and prudential critique of community planning, beyond the usual criteria of economic or technological feasibility; ▪ Gestalt Therapy (written with Fritz Perls and published in 1951) presented clinicians with an alternative to "adjustment" as the measure of mental health; ▪ The Empire City, a mod

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