Donald Kaufmann, April 20, 1965

From Project Mailer
142 Columbia Heights
Brooklyn 1, New York
April 20, 1965

Dear Don,[1]

Just a line to tell you that I love you, and what a fine time we had. So good that it sets up looking forward to the next one. Incidentally, I found when I came home a book written by a man named Christopher Lasch which will be coming out in a couple of weeks, published by Knopf.[2] I can’t remember the title, but the subject is a history of intellectual radicalism in America over the last hundred years, and a portion of the last chapter is devoted to your favorite subject for thesis. Lasch didn’t have anything to say which rang any big bells for me, and like many before him, he does his best to flatten nuances and make me sound twice as assertive as ever. But the chapter is finally harmless enough. I mention it only because you may wish to include it in your bibliography. Also keep an eye out for the April 20 issue of The National Review. To my absolute amazement, there’s a rave by Joan Didion on An American Dream. And nicely written too, by God.

Give my best to Cheryl, tell her I’m sorry I didn’t get a chance to talk to her anymore than I did, and keep slugging, you old fuck of a rabbi.

Your fellow-alumnus from Heidelberg,
Old Walk-on-Eggs Norm
This page is part of
An American Dream Expanded.


  1. Kaufmann was a professor at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, who became friendly with Mailer when he spoke at the University in April 1965. In 1969 he published one of the first major critical studies of Mailer, Norman Mailer: The Countdown (The First Twenty Years).
  2. The New Radicalism in America, 1889-1963: The Intellectual as a Social Type (1965).