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Joseph Epstein

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By Jeffrey M. Landaw and Jeffrey M. Landaw,Mr. Landaw is a makeup editor for The Sun | May 26, 1991
A LINE OUT FOR A WALK: FAMILIAR ESSAYS.Joseph Epstein.Norton.331 pages. $21.95.If essayists were baseball players, Joseph Epstein would be an unspectacular but always successful control pitcher like the old Yankees' Ed Lopat.After more than 15 years, readers like me know well enough what to expect from him -- the self-deprecation that skates close to the edge of false modesty but never falls in, the deadpan passage that swerves into a striking figure of speech -- but the turns still work as well as ever.
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ENTERTAINMENT
By Jeff Landaw and Jeff Landaw,jeff.landaw@baltsun.com | November 2, 2008
Fred Astaire by Joseph Epstein Yale University Press / 224 pages / $22 Fred Astaire, writes Joseph Epstein, the veteran critic and essayist, "was the very model ... of the democratic dandy, itself an innovative figure." He adds that G. Bruce Boyer called Astaire in his movie roles "the democratic ideal: a classless aristocrat." If T.S. Eliot calling the mature Henry James "a European of no known country" isn't the same thing, it's close enough. Astaire's career is full of paradoxes like these.
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NEWS
By MICHAEL PAKENHAM | March 9, 1997
Why are certain literate people - but far from all - spontaneously compelled to surround themselves with books in ever-burgeoning quantities? Put aside practical purposes: research, reference, insulation against noisy neighbors, dread of insomnia, danger of the sudden arrival of Aunt Tillie (who presented you her library as well as a nice little trust fund). Consider, rather, the joy of munching and nibbling, at whim or random, in generous pastures of grand words. The most powerful engine of private library building is the promise of abandoned intimacy with paragraph and page.
NEWS
By FREDERICK N. RASMUSSEN and FREDERICK N. RASMUSSEN,SUN REPORTER | January 4, 2006
Joseph Epstein, a research chemist and former chief of defense research at Edgewood Arsenal, died of kidney failure Saturday at Northwest Hospital Center. He was 87. Born and raised in Philadelphia, the son of Polish immigrants, he earned a bachelor's degree in chemistry in 1938 from Temple University in Philadelphia, his master's from the University of Pennsylvania in 1940, and a doctorate in 1966 from the University of Delaware. Dr. Epstein began his civilian career at the Army's Edgewood Arsenal in 1940, and during a 40-year career there became an acknowledged expert in chemical warfare, detoxification, treatment of contaminated water supplies and safe disposal of chemical weapons.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Jeff Landaw and Jeff Landaw,jeff.landaw@baltsun.com | November 2, 2008
Fred Astaire by Joseph Epstein Yale University Press / 224 pages / $22 Fred Astaire, writes Joseph Epstein, the veteran critic and essayist, "was the very model ... of the democratic dandy, itself an innovative figure." He adds that G. Bruce Boyer called Astaire in his movie roles "the democratic ideal: a classless aristocrat." If T.S. Eliot calling the mature Henry James "a European of no known country" isn't the same thing, it's close enough. Astaire's career is full of paradoxes like these.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Craig Nova and By Craig Nova,Special to the Sun | July 7, 2002
Snobbery, The American Version, by Joseph Epstein. Houghton Mifflin Co. 288 pages. $25. Reading this witty and informative book is an odd experience, since it says in public the things that one usually only says in private, and the accumulated effect of them is at once horrifying and exhilarating. Often you find yourself putting the book down and saying, out loud, "My god, he didn't say that, too, did he?" If nothing else, Joseph Epstein knows that if one is going to write a book about snobbery, the best tool is breathtaking honesty.
NEWS
By FREDERICK N. RASMUSSEN and FREDERICK N. RASMUSSEN,SUN REPORTER | January 4, 2006
Joseph Epstein, a research chemist and former chief of defense research at Edgewood Arsenal, died of kidney failure Saturday at Northwest Hospital Center. He was 87. Born and raised in Philadelphia, the son of Polish immigrants, he earned a bachelor's degree in chemistry in 1938 from Temple University in Philadelphia, his master's from the University of Pennsylvania in 1940, and a doctorate in 1966 from the University of Delaware. Dr. Epstein began his civilian career at the Army's Edgewood Arsenal in 1940, and during a 40-year career there became an acknowledged expert in chemical warfare, detoxification, treatment of contaminated water supplies and safe disposal of chemical weapons.
NEWS
January 2, 2006
On Friday, December 30, 2005, JOSEPH EPSTEIN; loving husband of Josephine Epstein (nee Zierler); beloved father of Marcia Meyer of Randallstown, MD, Karl E. Epstein of Los Angeles, CA, Lynn Epstein of Davis, CA and Jeffery Epstein of Baltimore, MD; devoted father in-law of Alan Meyer, Denise Epstein, Susan Bassein and Norma Epstein; beloved brother of Phyllis Rosenthal of Philadephia, PA and Norman Elson of Bozeman, MT; devoted brother-in-law of Martin...
NEWS
By Laura Demanski and Laura Demanski,Special to The Sun | May 7, 1995
"With My Trousers Rolled: Familiar Essays," by Joseph Epstein. 320 pages. New York: W.W. Norton & Co. $25The familiar essay is a literary form that grows less and less familiar to bookstore haunters and armchair denizens. Increasingly we read for results: for facts, escape, self-help. Out of step (as their author cheerfully admits), Joseph Epstein's essays affirm the value of reading as more than a means. Originally published in the American Scholar, they seem to have been written for the sheer joy of it, and their happiest readers will be those whose only objective is the pleasure of reading itself.
NEWS
By Jeffrey M. Landaw | August 8, 1993
PERTINENT PLAYERS: ESSAYSON THE LITERARY LIFEJoseph EpsteinNorton! 414 pages, $24.95It was a special pleasure in 19th-century England, Joseph Epstein writes, when a letter arrived from the Rev. Sydney Smith. Some of us feel a similar pleasure when a new essay arrives from Joseph Epstein.Mr. Epstein's work is a sign that dark as the world is, it's still possible to love it. All you need is humor; openness to experience; common sense that stops short of philistinism; the power of making subtle distinctions, and courage.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Craig Nova and By Craig Nova,Special to the Sun | July 7, 2002
Snobbery, The American Version, by Joseph Epstein. Houghton Mifflin Co. 288 pages. $25. Reading this witty and informative book is an odd experience, since it says in public the things that one usually only says in private, and the accumulated effect of them is at once horrifying and exhilarating. Often you find yourself putting the book down and saying, out loud, "My god, he didn't say that, too, did he?" If nothing else, Joseph Epstein knows that if one is going to write a book about snobbery, the best tool is breathtaking honesty.
NEWS
By MICHAEL PAKENHAM | March 9, 1997
Why are certain literate people - but far from all - spontaneously compelled to surround themselves with books in ever-burgeoning quantities? Put aside practical purposes: research, reference, insulation against noisy neighbors, dread of insomnia, danger of the sudden arrival of Aunt Tillie (who presented you her library as well as a nice little trust fund). Consider, rather, the joy of munching and nibbling, at whim or random, in generous pastures of grand words. The most powerful engine of private library building is the promise of abandoned intimacy with paragraph and page.
NEWS
By Jeffrey M. Landaw and Jeffrey M. Landaw,Mr. Landaw is a makeup editor for The Sun | May 26, 1991
A LINE OUT FOR A WALK: FAMILIAR ESSAYS.Joseph Epstein.Norton.331 pages. $21.95.If essayists were baseball players, Joseph Epstein would be an unspectacular but always successful control pitcher like the old Yankees' Ed Lopat.After more than 15 years, readers like me know well enough what to expect from him -- the self-deprecation that skates close to the edge of false modesty but never falls in, the deadpan passage that swerves into a striking figure of speech -- but the turns still work as well as ever.
NEWS
By JEFFREY M. LANDAW and JEFFREY M. LANDAW,SUN REPORTER | July 9, 2006
Friendship: An Expose Joseph Epstein Houghton Mifflin / 270 pages / $24 Grapple your proven friends to your soul with hoops of steel, Polonius tells Laertes in Hamlet. Get yourself a friend, the Talmud tells beginning scholars. If Joseph Epstein skipped those references, he skipped almost nothing else. Friendship combines the wide range, wry wit and generously skeptical viewpoint that made Snobbery: The American Version a best-seller, and The American Scholar such a pleasure to read when Epstein was editor.
NEWS
By Jeffrey M. Landaw | April 10, 1995
WITH MY TROUSERS ROLLED: FAMILIAR ESSAYS. By Joseph Epstein. 320 pages. Norton. $25.ONE CAN either go with the flow," Joseph Epstein writes, "or try to stop it. The first prospect renders a man ridiculous, the second hopeless. Yet another possibility is to take a seat on the sidelines, preferably in the shade, a glass of wine in one's hand, and not bark but laugh as the caravan passes."For more than 20 years, Mr. Epstein, the editor of The American Scholar, has been watching the American caravan from the sidelines and inducing his readers to laugh with him. But now, in his fifth collection of essays, comes a slight but significant change in tone.
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