Bellow's relations with women were often fraught. In the 1960s he was compulsively promiscuous (even as he inveighed against sexual liberation). The women he pursued, the ones he married and those with whom he had affairs, were intelligent, attractive and strong-willed. At eighty-five he fathered his fourth child, a daughter, with his fifth wife. His three sons, whom he loved, could be as volatile as he was, and their relations with their father were often troubled.
Although an early and engaged supporter of civil rights, in the second half of his life Bellow was angered by the excesses of Black Power. An opponent of cultural relativism, he exercised great influence in literary and intellectual circles, advising a host of institutes and foundations, helping those he approved of, hindering those of whom he disapproved. In making his case, he could be cutting and rude; he could also be charming, loyal, and funny. Bellow's heroic energy and will are clear to the very end of his life. His immense achievement and its cost, to himself and others, are also clear.
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Excerpted from "The Life of Saul Bellow"
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Table of Contents
List of Illustrations ix
1 Fame and Politics in the 1960s 3
2 "All My Ladies Seem Furious" 51
3 Bad Behavior 105
4 A Better Man 156
5 Distraction/Divorce/Anthroposophy 200
6 The "Chicago Book" and The Dean's December 251
7 Nadir 305
8 Janis Freedman/Allan Bloom/Politics 354
9 To Seventy-Five 412
10 Papuans and Zulus 478
11 Intensive Care 528
12 Ravelstein 571
13 Love and Strife 603
A Note on Sources 651