Boston University’s Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center has made available scans of the complete run of Partisan Review (the journal moved its operations to BU in 1978). Of most interest is the period before the great split of 1943 between William Phillips and Philip Rahv on one side and Dwight Macdonald on the other, perhaps best recounted in Alan Wald’s The New York Intellectuals. Macdonald went on to launch the short-lived Politics before beginning a long transformation into the curmudgeonly writer of film and cultural criticism for which he is most widely remembered.
Highlights from this early period include Rahv’s 1938 essay on the Moscow Trials (“Trials of the Mind“) and the July 1941 theses of Macdonald and art critic Clement Greenburg (“10 Propositions on the War“) on the political meaning of World War II. It was the position put forth in this document which precipitated the rupture with Phillips and Rahv.