Reviewed by Erik Hmiel
The Free World: Art and Thought in the Cold War
by Louis Menand
Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 880pp., $18.89
When I was in my late teens and early twenties, I played in punk-rock bands. Not just punk-rock bands, hardcore-punk-rock bands, bands you might even call post-punk. We played shows in basements and garages, record stores and art spaces, cafes and homeless shelters. We played to 100 people and to zero. We hated the radio and were enthralled by our involvement with a national network of young people who made music outside of the confines of a commercial ecosystem. I even came to disdain the calls of older independent musicians who–suddenly confronted with a loss of revenue from illegal downloading services like Napster and the bootleg copies offered by the CD-R—made genuine, heartfelt appeals to the connection between artistic labor and material compensation. Punk was “beyond” such an outdated way of thinking about art. What was truly radical and inspirational about punk-rock was that no one cared about money. We existed in our own ecosystem, played to each other, patronized specific record stores, and otherwise went on with our lives without the metaphysical baggage associated with being ‘Artists’. Without knowing it, we simultaneously embraced the abiding ideal of the historical avant-garde’s sense of radicality—art as oblique challenge to staid conventions—and what the German art historian Hans Belting, writing in 1987, called ‘The End of the History of Art.’
Belting was referring to the ending of a distinctive relationship between art and thought that emerged during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The philosophical tradition of aesthetics—as inaugurated by Kant and Schiller; and the traditions of Romanticism—developed by Schlegel and Coleridge—gave us the ideas that formed the core concepts of the twentieth century ‘artist with a capital A’: The artist as intuitive or expressive, anti-capitalist, politically transgressive, later transgressive for the sake of novelty, or with the aim of integrating art and life. At each of these stages of the development of modern art, its interpretation was somehow connected to, yet mysteriously divorced from, pure reason. Art served as a romantic proxy for political revolution, cultural distinction, or private transcendence. In the postwar United States, it was a practice that enlarged the metaphysical or political or cultural ambitions of (mostly) anxious, “alienated” white men.
Or at least up until about 1950. This is the rough starting point of Louis Menand’s monumental The Free World: Art and Thought in the Cold War. At nearly 800 pages, Menand paints a portrait large and engrossing, resembling the scale and ambition of the post-war artistic and intellectual ego he seeks both to recount and to question. True to its subtitle, it is a book about postwar intellectual life and postwar art. It is less so about the relationship between the two, or how that relationship reflected change over time.
The Free World hangs together through a series of portraits. Hannah Arendt, Hans Morgenthau, John Paul Sartre, Lionel Trilling, Alan Ginsberg, Simone de Beauvoir, Jackson Pollock, Robert Rauschenberg, John Cage, Jasper Johns, Andy Warhol, Martin Luther King Jr., The Beatles, Richard Wright, James Baldwin, Betty Friedan, Susan Sontag, Claude Levi-Strauss, Jaques Derrida, Clement Greenberg, Pauline Kael, and Jonas Mekas, Menand wants us to understand, all testified to the centrality of the elusive ideal of freedom as a defining mark of Cold War intellectual and artistic life. Each of these figures, he suggests in a series of well-written biographical portraits, struggled to articulate this elusive ideal of freedom in response to external and historical forms of constraint, whether in the realms of political diplomacy, racial equality, artistic innovation and license, cross-cultural exchange, feminist liberation, musical style, or film criticism. On this reading, the looming threat of Totalitarianism as existential specter made ‘freedom’ in these multiple arenas of experience a guiding thread of postwar American art and thought. Beyond the sensibility that Menand seeks to locate in postwar American letters, moreover, he makes a compelling case for how this sensibility helped to shape the imperial project of exporting American culture abroad, illuminating important connections between, for example, the Gothic modernism of William Faulkner and the French New Wave of the 1960s.
In a series of chapters considering the place of Clement Greenberg, Jackson Pollock, Robert Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns, John Cage, Andy Warhol, and Susan Sontag in the development of postwar art and thought about art, Menand is arguably at his best. But it is precisely in these same chapters that Menand’s ambitions to tell a unified story about postwar American art and thought reveal their most serious lacunae, particularly in making several bold claims that escape the bounds of his ‘freedom thesis.’ The first concerns the supposed de-politicization of art which, he argues, began with Clement Greenberg’s pronouncement about the cultural authority of modernist art and its internal development. Citing Greenberg’s famous 1939 essay from the leading cultural mouthpiece of the anti-Stalinist left, Partisan Review, “‘Avant-Garde and Kitsch’…marked the moment when American socialism dropped its demands on the arts. Art now bore no responsibility to the revolution; it was historically justified as what it was in itself. Greenberg rescued modernist art and literature for leftists by depoliticizing it.” (Menand, 146) For Greenberg, it was imperative that artists, in order to preserve “the only living culture we have now” against the onslaughts of consumer goods, turn inward toward the properties inherent to individual mediums themselves. Art, to preserve its distinction from mere “Kitsch,” had to become about art itself.
Within a decade of the publication of “Avant-Garde and Kitsch,” Greenberg became one of the nation’s most influential art critics for his championing of the first generation of twentieth-century artists to reach critical, though less-so commercial, success. Painters like Jackson Pollock, Jules Olitski, and Kenneth Noland represented for Greenberg the embodiment of painting in its purest form, in that each of their works was about the essence of the medium of painting itself: paint on a flat canvas. Crucially, this was art divorced from the machinations of commerce.
Greenberg’s position was dependent on a view of art that was distinctive of both the high-modernist and avant-garde belief in the transcendence afforded by art, whether personal, political, intellectual, or social. Art in the service of liberation. In the name of the pleasure, or sometimes overwhelming “sublime,” afforded by ratiocination of the aesthetic realm’s autonomy. But while Greenberg was an indeed an influential art critic, he became more significant as a strawman for an emerging generation of artists and intellectuals after the mid-1950s who sought to stake out new positions in the rapidly changing world of artistic production. Spurred by the influence of the prewar and interwar European Avant-Gardes—along with the emerging critiques of Feminists, Gay Liberation and Black Power activists, Environmentalists, and fundamental changes to the structure of artistic education, hierarchy, thought, and expertise–American artists and intellectuals sought new directions beyond Greenberg’s hermetic formalism beginning in the mid-1950s and into the 1960s.
Menand rightly draws attention to this tendency, and makes important, more particular connections between the postwar avant-garde, American naturalism, and the Bauhaus, specifically their nexus at Black Mountain College during the 1950s and 60s. A fundamental incubator of the postwar artists who would shape the direction of contemporary art in the coming decades, Black Mountain hosted as either teachers or students the likes of John Cage, Cy Twombly, Ruth Asawa, Franz Kline, Robert Rauschenberg, Merce Cunningham, Laszlo Maholy Nogy, Walter Gropius, Robert Motherwell, Josef and Annie Albers, Charles Olson, and Willem and Elain de Kooning. An important thread ran through this meeting-place of modernist thought and practice. In the reception of the writings of Marcel Duchamp and Antonin Artaud; the embrace of John Dewey and his connection to Zen Buddhism, promoted by Cage; and the enthusiasm for the blurred boundaries between art, craft, and communication in the pedagogy of Albers and Gropius, American artists and intellectuals sought to attack the arbitrary remove that placed art out of the bounds of life, broadly construed. This moment marked a radical transition not only in American and European art history, but a more significant moment in trans-Atlantic intellectual history that reshaped many of our current conceptions of cultural hierarchy and the nature of artistic evaluation itself. It challenged the ecosystem of critical thought about art’s relationship to consumption and identity; and it gave rise to a concept of art so diffuse as to both liberate individual creativity on a global scale and act as a handmaiden to a nascent media-age addicted to novelty.
Menand hints at these connections in his well-researched readings of the composer Cage, the choreographer Merce Cunningham, and the visual artist Robert Rauschenberg. Cage, however, is key here. His tenure as an instructor at Black Mountain, along with his famous compositions ‘4’33”’ and ‘Theater Piece no. 1’ made him a star among the American avant-garde of the 1950s and 60s. Moreover, Menand does an impressive job recounting the contexts of Cage’s censuring of ego-centric conceptions of artistic practice. Drawing on the Pragmatism of Dewey’s Art as Experience (1934), Zen Buddhism, and the I-Ching, Cage sought to blur the distinction between music and sound, and by extension, art and life, a line of thinking that had a major influence on postwar artists like Allan Kaprow, Dick Higgins, Al Hansen, and Jackson Macklow.
But Menand neglects to say much more about this striking convergence of the avant-garde–particularly its ideal of abolishing the distinction between art and life–modernism, and the history of American naturalist thought. Nor does he connect any of these dangling threads to his larger braid of postwar American freedom as an artistic and intellectual imperative. Cage rose to prominence at a moment when, Menand rightfully emphasizes, American art was being promoted, and increasingly embraced, throughout the world, as he demonstrates in the irony of Cage’s appearance on the Italian television gameshow Lascia o Raddoppia? (Double or Nothing?) in 1959. Cage’s fellow collaborators and avatars of the mid-century avant-garde, Merce Cunningham, Robert Rauschenberg, and Jasper Johns, were likewise reaching global renown in international biennales, tours, and increasingly lucrative gallery showings by the mid-1960s.
With this in mind, Menand focuses his analytical attention on the role of art and commerce in a globalizing world, driven by American-style capitalism. Indeed, his approach to artists like Cage and Rauschenberg suggests that Menand has little sympathy for the metaphysical pretenses of men who simultaneously sought to renounce egoism and yet appeared all-too ready to embrace media attention and American individualism cum artistic anti-hero antics. Menand’s knack for the anecdotal and the biographical, grounded in economic and social history, likewise acts as a rhetorical foil to the abstractions made of the avant-garde and modernism found in many histories and theories of postwar American and European art. It is in this same spirit that Menand, in his chapter on Andy Warhol and Pop Art, portrays the former as heralding a breakdown between the line dividing art and commerce.
The intellectual-art-historical moment of Warhol was, however, one more significant for the fate of the avant-garde ideal, rather than an illustration of freedom unbound. Menand rightfully treats Warhol with circumspection, noting that his deliberate subterfuge in interviews and public appearances was precisely Warhol’s point: there was no distinction between the shallowness of appearance, particularly in the context of postwar American capitalism, and the avant-garde artist whose supposed depth of insight gained its strength from its opposition to this context. However, Menand has little to say about the consequences or implications of this moment for the history of the avant-garde ideal, or how it relates to his broader idea of freedom in postwar American thought and culture.
The German philosopher Peter Burger essayed an explanation of some of the more significant of these implications in his 1974 book, Theory of the Avant-Garde. At the time of his writing, Burger claimed that the “historical avant-garde” (by which he was referring, somewhat narrowly, to Dada, Futurism, and Surrealism), had given way to a “post-avant-garde” era. The strategies of exaggerating the artificial divide between art and life had become themselves reified, now possessed of the same “autonomy” that Greenberg enjoined thirty-five years earlier. To that end, Burger criticized as fatuous handwringing the emergence of what American art-critics Hal Foster and Benjamin Buchloh would later call the neo-avant-garde. What the historical-avant-garde had laid bare, rather, were the institutional mechanisms and regulative discourses that comprised, by 1964, what the American philosopher of art, Arthur Danto, labelled an “Artworld” (a deeply significant essay in postwar intellectual history that Menand badly misreads).
On Burger’s account, once these mechanisms and institutions are made explicit, indeed become part of the making of art itself, then no one artist, style, or movement could claim to represent a historical advance over any other. “Once the historical avant-garde movements revealed art as an institution as the solution to the mystery of the effectiveness or ineffectiveness of art, no form could any longer claim that it alone had either eternal or temporally limited validity. The historical avant-garde movements liquidated such a claim.” Burger was not alone in grappling with this conceptual problem of contemporary art and its relationship to the avant-garde. In the postwar United States, the composer Leonard Meyer, the curator and critic Lawrence Alloway, the art historian George Kubler, and, especially, Danto, all sought to deal with the death of the avant-garde on precisely these terms, along with its implications for art and thought at the end of the twentieth century.
During the final decades of the twentieth century, these thinkers, along with the art to which they were responding during the postwar years, were attempting to reimagine art as being of a piece with the broader systems of language and communication that make representation itself both possible and meaningful. This was a development that was given institutional and intellectual sanction by the emerging academic field of Visual-Cultural-Studies during the 1980s and 90s. A parallel impulse helped to motivate the political and conceptual projects of feminist artists such as Carolee Schneeman and Judy Chicago, the environmental works of Robert Smithson, and the race-conscious output of Kara Walker, all of whom belie Menand’s argument about the supposed-depoliticization of art after 1945. As these artists and intellectuals sought to show, if art was synonymous with the world of communication, of representational and normative thinking, it was a discursive space whose boundaries from politics, history, commerce, and culture were arbitrary. Warhol may have raised significant questions about the relation between art and commerce, but he was no more or less a harbinger of contemporary art than his feminist counterparts of the A.I.R. collective, for example, or the “Institutional Critique” of artists such as Hans Haacke. Menand wants to suggest, rather, that once the line between art and commerce was crossed, once its supposed autonomy was broached, art and ideas somehow ceased to “matter.”
If art eventually came to breach its barrier from commerce, however, the intellectual-historical consequences were much deeper than Menand’s argument allows for. Once art’s autonomy was removed from its metaphysical presuppositions, once it was incorporated into the broader realm of communication and its cultural, political, and intellectual entanglements, including that of commerce, art entered an age of “pluralism.”
By the late 1970s and early 80s, the seeming decline of an autonomous realm of art, divorced from politics, culture, and knowledge, alarmed art critics on both the left and right. Worried by this vertiginous condition of “pluralism,”, art critics and theorists lamented the contemporary moment in which style and quality suddenly seemed so diffuse as to make critical evaluation meaningless, a historical development to which Menand nods. “The belief that the medium evolved in a linear way—the belief that led Greenberg to champion color-field abstractionists such as Kenneth Noland and Jules Olitski as the next stage in modern art—younger artists and composers like Rauschenberg, Feldman, and Cage found absurd. There are only individual works that are more or less interesting.” (Menand, 259)
Such an attitude did not sit well with intellectuals writing about the condition of the arts during the 1980s and 90s. Scholar-critics like Douglas Crimp and Hal Foster complained of the condition of pluralism as a threat to the emancipatory potential of an extant (or neo-) avant-garde art for the left. Time’s Robert Hughes, and Commentary’s Hilton Kramer, meanwhile, bemoaned the pluralist zeitgeist for its “anything goes” mentality and attendant lack of standards of quality. On both accounts, the progressive or redemptive vision of art was lost to a dizzying bevy of styles that mirrored the disruptive conditions of capitalism, or postmodernism, itself. For Menand, however, the seeming import of this disruption of evaluative standards is in its imbrication with the ideal of ‘freedom’ that the United States was exporting abroad. “The ‘message’ of art exhibitions sent overseas was that there was not one American style of painting; on the contrary, the United States was a place where a diversity of styles could flourish.” (520)
This invocation of the ‘cultural cold war’ is not incorrect. Indeed, historians like Fred Turner have pointed out that this tendency to tout stylistic pluralism, particularly in the realm of medium, was both a virtue and constitutive foundation of a postwar liberal sensibility that emphasized psychological flexibility in the face of Totalitarianism. Still, Menand fails to consider the larger implications of the decline in (or perception thereof) art’s metaphysical status as a driver of change or transcendence, or how this decline affected cultural criticism, art-historical writing, aesthetics and the philosophy of art, museum attendance, or artistic education in the coming decades. To that end, moreover, Menand says remarkably little about the broader intellectual consequences of America’s ascendancy to global world power beyond his implicit rehashing of a by-now-rehearsed art-as-commerce critique.
At mid-century, many American intellectuals were engaged in multiple, overlapping projects that attempted to both theorize and systemize new relationships between language, communication, and culture that exploited both the changing conditions of art and America’s emerging status as the dominant world power. In the domains of analytic philosophy, anthropology, psychology, systems theory, cybernetics, and science studies, academic intellectuals began to reimagine the interdependent relationships between meaning, communication, culture, and knowledge as they confronted an increasingly globalizing world. As they began confronting that world as a series of discrete (often-decolonizing) nation states, just waiting for American encryption, this generation helped to cement the problems of translation, cross-cultural comparison, normative group regulation, and interpretation, as indispensable to theoretical reflection more generally. The reception and rejection of these ideas became crucial to an emerging cohort of intellectuals thinking about art and its relationship to culture and thought during the second half of the twentieth century.
Menand’s failure to consider this part of the story of art and thought in the free world explains his spirit of resignation about the seeming “meaninglessness” of art and ideas by the end of the Vietnam War. After capitalism and the university completed their “conquest of cool,” as Thomas Frank put the matter in 1997, the metaphysical or political or religious significance of art, and the cultural importance of its intellectuals, waned considerably. It’s a position akin to the punk-rocker’s favorite band ruined by their commercial success, or the cultural critic’s lamentation of the fact that intellectual life is no longer the purview of the alienated romantic (indeed, it never was). Such a position blinds Menand to some of the more significant forces that were reshaping the relationships between art and thought during the Cold War, relationships that surely escape the bounds of ‘freedom seeking’ as an abstract ideal or reaction to Totalitarianism.
In this sense, the aspirational idea of freedom as an animating thesis–unifying avant-garde practice, anti-communist shibboleths, realist literature, academic politics, anti-apartheid activism, and women’s liberation—denies to Menand’s historical cast of characters any sense of lived reality with the more practical, local traditions of art and thought that an abstract commitment to freedom fails to illuminate.
History is certainly interpretation through and through. But it stretches the imagination to tell Medgar Evars that his quest for equal treatment and civil liberties for black people was on the same aspirational plane as the “freedom-seeking” or boundary-breaking that John Cage may or may not have achieved with 4’33”. Evars, like King and many other civil rights icons, drew his inspiration and strength from the Black Church, with a lived religious and historical tradition that long-predated the expansionary-paranoia of the U.S. Cold-War security apparatus. Likewise, Cage drew on the traditions of the European avant-garde, on American pragmatism, and their naturalistic affinities with Zen Buddhism, in forging his approach to art and thought. All of these were traditions that, while trafficking in the language of freedom for certain purposes, cannot be reduced to the rhetorical politics of its elusive ideation. Freedom’s vagueness, to be sure, is not lost on Menand, nor on his self-consciousness about its centrality to his narrative construction, conceding that “the book I ended up writing is a little like a novel with a hundred characters.” But he nevertheless insists that the “dots do connect.” (Menand, XIV)
What connects the dots is, rather, a bolder claim, belied by much of the existing scholarship that Menand often fails to acknowledge. The Free World spans, roughly, 1947-1968, a period for Menand during which “people cared. Ideas mattered…The way people judged and interpreted paintings, movies, and poems mattered.” (Menand, XII) The historical significance of why this period mattered for Menand, however, is this: it represents a brief span of time in which the ideals of vanguardism, cultural hierarchy, and connoisseurship still held some metaphysical sway, were critically supported as such, and shaped his own conceptions of cultural value. But it was also precisely a period when these ideals were fundamentally challenged and transformed for better and for worse. It was a moment just before an endless cycle of ‘crises’ befell art and literary critics every ten years or so, critics who continue to intone declensionist woes about their cultural authority in matters of art and ideas. In short, it was a brief moment before which both art and ideas underwent a much more profound change in both their respective and interdependent relationships than Menand wants to allow. Where he fails in presenting the moment under his consideration, then, is in showing how the animating impulse of ‘the free world’ undergirded change over time. In other words, how did art, ideas, and their interconnection come to not matter, as he suggests? Or, more charitably, how did they come to matter in different ways?
How do we explain, for example, the fact that art exists as both a global financial market and an extant site of political resistance? That it can still offer private transcendence in the form of capitalist consumption. That art critics now exist largely in universities. That MFA programs, for many a gateway to entrance into the contemporary art world, exist to train emerging artists how to talk about their work, rather than how to make it. That no serious person can now claim that art is the exclusive purview of the educated, while university education is, nevertheless, a dirty prerequisite to artistic credibility. That a 19-year-old in 2007 can draw on the traditions of alternative performance spaces spearheaded by groups like the Art Workers Collective and Fluxus, while someone purchases a Warhol for millions, and both are considered legitimate domains of the contemporary Artworld. To answer many of these questions, which concern the intellectual and art-historical consequences of the period Menand covers, would stretch the confines of his book. But at nearly 900 pages, the metaphor of ‘freedom’ might have fared better in breaking from them.
Erik Hmiel is an Assistant Professor of Instruction at Temple University, where he teaches in the Intellectual Heritage program. He is currently writing a book about the influence of the post-WWII human sciences on the decline of modernist cultural authority in the United States.
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 Hans Belting, The End of the History of Art? trans. Christopher S. Wood (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1987).
 For a compelling genealogy of this exalted cultural and metaphysical status accorded to the ‘Artist’, see Martha Woodmansee, The Author, Art, and the Market: Rereading the History of Aesthetics (New York: Columbia University Press, 1994).
 Clement Greenberg, “Avant-Garde and Kitsch,” Partisan Review 6 no. 5 (1939): 34-50.
 On Greenberg, see Caroline Jones, Eyesight Alone: Clement Greenberg’s Modernism and the Bureaucratization of the Senses (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2005).
 Thomas Crow, The Rise of the Sixties: American and European Art in the Era of Dissent (London: Laurence King Publishing, 1996).
 On Black Mountain, including the place of Albers in its foundation, see Mary Emma Harris, The Arts at Black Mountain College (Cambridge: MIT Press, 2002) and Eva Diaz, The Experimenters: Chance and Design at Black Mountain College (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2015). For Dewey’s influence on Cage and Black Mountain, see James M. Harding, The Ghosts of the Avant-Garde(s): Exorcising Experimental Theater and Performance (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2013), 67-69.
 Hal Foster, “Who’s Afraid of the Neo-Avant-Garde?,” in idem., The Return of the Real: The Avant-Garde at the End of the Century (Cambridge: MIT Press, 1996), 1-34.; Benjamin H.D. Buchloh, “Figures of Authority, Ciphers of Regression: Notes on the Return of Representation in European Painting,” October 16 (Spring, 1981): 41.
 Arthur C. Danto, “The Artworld,” Journal of Philosophy 61 no. 19 (1964): 571-584.
 Peter Burger, Theory of the Avant-Garde, trans. Michael Shaw (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1984), 84.
 Leonard B. Meyer, Music, The Arts, and Ideas (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1966); Lawrence Alloway, Network: Art and the Complex Present (Ann Arbor: UMI Research Press, 1984); George Kubler, The Shape of Time: Remarks on the History of Things (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1961); Arthur C. Danto, The Philosophical Disenfranchisement of Art (New York: Columbia University Press, 1986).
 For an introduction to the origins of and issues that concern the field of Visual-Cultural studies, see John A. Walker and Sarah Chaplin eds., Visual Culture: An Introduction (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1997).
 Douglas Crimp, “Pictures,” October 8 (Spring, 1979): 87; Hal Foster, “Against Pluralism,” in idem., Recodings: Art, Spectacle, Cultural Politics(Seattle: Bay Press, 1985), 23.
 Robert Hughes, “A Farewell to the Future That Was,” Time 117 no. 7 (February 16, 1981): 52; Hilton Kramer, “The Age of the Avant-Garde,” The Journal of Aesthetic Education 7, no. 2 (April 1973): 49. Originally published in Commentary 54, no. 4 (1972): 37.
 Fred Turner, The Democratic Surround: Multimedia and American Liberalism from World War II to the Psychedelic Sixties (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2013).
 Isaac A. Kamola, Making the World Global: U.S. Universities and the Production of the Global Imaginary (Durham: Duke University Press, 2019); Kerwin Lee Klein, From History to Theory (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2011, 59-83; Roger L. Geiger, Research and Relevant Knowledge: American Research Universities Since World War II (New York: Oxford University Press, 1993; Joel Isaac, Working Knowledge: Making the Human Sciences from Parsons to Kuhn (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2011); Hunter Crowther Heyck, Age of System: Understanding the Development of Modern Social Science (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2015).
 Thomas Frank, The Conquest of Cool: Business Culture, Counterculture, and the Rise of Hip Consumerism (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1998).
 The most notorious example of this view is Russel Jacoby’s The Last Intellectuals: American Culture in the Age of Acadame (New York: Basic Books, 1987).
 Gary Alan Fine, The Culture of Practice and the Practice of Culture in MFA Education (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2018).
 Singerman, Art Subjects.
 On alternative art spaces, see Julie Ault ed., Alternative Art New York, 1965-1985 (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2002).
Clay Matlin says
Really great. Is there way to link Menand’s book to Mark Greif’s Age of the Crisis of Man and Robert Genter’s, brilliant but underread, Late Modernism?