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The New Criterion

America’s leading review of the arts and intellectual life
- Harry Mount, the London Telegraph


May 2012

An eye for talent

by Robert Bork

From "Remembering Hilton Kramer."

In an age of swagger and bluster coupled with ignorance of the best writing, Hilton Kramer quietly maintained the standards of civility, wide-ranging erudition, and precision of expression he had learned from his family and from his school. Like many strong leaders, Hilton had and often displayed moments of acerbitism.

But unlike many strong leaders, he accepted his mortality and prepared a successor to take over when he failed. In Roger Kimball, he found the successor he wanted. Hilton told me when he interviewed Roger for a post with The New Criterion that he so quickly recognized the talent Roger would bring to the magazine that his only words at the end of the interview were, “When can you start?” When the time came for Hilton to retire, the banquet in his honor featured the best intellectuals of his day—men and women who took literature and art seriously. Hilton’s name will always be associated with the magazine he founded and nurtured to health, The New Criterion.

Robert Bork isRobert H. Bork (1927–2012) was an American jurist and legal scholar. 

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This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 30 May 2012, on page 28

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