Description: Joseph Wood Krutch, literary critic, biographer, and naturalist, played an important role in twentieth-century American intellectual thought. As a drama critic at The Nation in the 1920's, he was disturbed by his fellow intellectuals' wholehearted acceptance of the verdict of science on modern man. Krutch believed that science lessened the stature of man when it refused to see men as anything but animals. Thus, the modern intellectuals subjected themselves to an attempt by communists and common men to overthrow western culture. The 1930's saw a concerted effort to defend communism by intellectuals, ironically, Krutch believed, at their own peril. Krutch's bitter argument with Marxists eventually forced him to nurture Thoreauvian individualism which culminated in a move to Arizona and a new career as a naturalist. He embraced a pantheistic philosophy. His search for order in a chaotic world made Krutch an interesting figure in American intellectual life.
Date: December 1980
Creator: Forst, Eugene R.