Max Forrester Eastman

Most famously, the poetry of Max Forrester Eastman has been set in John Duke's song "At the Aquarium."

Photo: Max Eastman, undated, Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

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Born in Canandaigua, New York, Max Eastman was the son of two Congregational Church clergy members. The area in which he grew up was a politically active region, and he had the chance to meet Mark Twain during his youth.

Eastman studied at Williams College, and then earned his Ph.D. at Columbia University. Eastman was leftist in his political views, and for a time, he was the editor of The Masses, an extreme leftist literary journal. The journal was oppressed by the American government during World War I, but continued publication until 1924.

Eastman was a communist during the ’20s and ’30s, traveling to the Soviet Union and translating several of Trotsky’s books. Starting in the 1940s, however, he began to oppose communism, supported Joseph McCarthy, and wrote two autobiographies.

–Christie Finn Source: Wikipedia & Max Eastman biography

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