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Paul Goodman Papers

An inventory of his papers at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: -
Date: Feb 1967

Biographical History

Paul Goodman (1911-1972) was an American author, poet, social critic and educator.

Goodman was born in New York City on September 9, 1911. After graduating from City College in New York, he received his Ph.D. in Humanities from the University of Chicago. Goodman taught at the University of Chicago, New York University, Black Mountain College, and Sarah Lawrence, and lectured widely at various universities throughout the country. He was associated with the New York and Cleveland institutes for Gestalt Therapy and the University Seminar on the Problems of Interpretation at Columbia. He is also a Fellow of the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington, DC.

Goodman wrote for Commentary, Politics, Kenyon Review, Resistance, Liberation, Partisan Review, Dissent, The Quarterly Review of Literature, The New Republic, Moviegoer, and the Village Voice. His fiction includes The Facts of Life, The Break-Up of Our Camp, Parent's Day, The Empire City, Making Do, and a volume of verse, The Lordly Hudson. He also wrote two books of criticism, Kafka's Prayer and The Structure of Literature. In the area of social studies, in addition to co-authoring Communitas and Gestalt Therapy, he wrote Art and Social Nature, Growing Up Absurd (the book for which he is best known), Utopian Essays and Practical Purposes, Drawing the Line, Community of Scholars, and Compulsory Mis-Education.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Paul Goodman Papers consist of correspondence/subject files, writings and memorabilia of the American author, poet and activist. Correspondence-subject files contain correspondence primarily from 1962-1965 including a selection of unfriendly letters to Mr. Goodman as well as minutes of a school board meeting. Writings includes manuscripts, typescripts, proofs and published versions of poetry, several articles and books. Memorabilia contains a calendar, newspaper clippings and an undateded test on Growing Up Absurd.

Arrangement of the Collection

Material is arranged alphabetically for the most part.


Access Restrictions:

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions:

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

Subject Headings


Anthony, Carl, 1932-
Breslin, Jimmy.
Goodman, Paul, 1911-1972.
Hoggart, Richard, 1918-2014.
Holt, John Caldwell, 1923-1985.
Horn, Zoia.
Howe, Irving.
Kennedy, John F. (John Fitzgerald), 1917-1963.
Konvitz, Milton R. (Milton Ridvas), 1908-2003.
Langness, L. L. (Lewis L.), 1929-
Lindsay, John V. (John Vliet)
Raskin, Marcus G.
Rosenberg, Harold, 1906-1978.
Schreiber, Daniel.
Sheehy Skeffington, Owen, 1909-1970.
Sofejko, Henry A.
Tannenbaum, Frank, 1893-1969.
Van Dresser, Peter, 1909-1983.
Ward, Colin C.
Wasserman, Saul


Authors, American.
Poets, American.

Genres and Forms

Clippings (information artifacts)
Manuscripts for publication.



Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Paul Goodman Papers,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Table of Contents

Correspondence-subject files