Mark Shechner, editor Preserving the Hunger: An Isaac Rosenfeld Reader.
Wayne State University Press, 463 pages, $45

Isaac Rosenfeld Passage from Home.
Marcus Wiener, 280 pages, $9.95

The writer Isaac Rosenfeld (1918-1956) seemed to his friend Saul Bellow like a Russian-Jewish intellectual; to Alfred Kazin, he appeared “as Old World as our fathers.” But in fact he was an American, Chicago-born, who studied philosophy at the University of Chicago in the Thirties, came to New York in 1941, joined the famous circle of Partisan Review, Commentary, and New Republic writers, and died in Chicago at the age of thirty-eight. He is one of the more obscure members of the group known as the New York intellectuals, but he was undoubtedly one of the most brilliant.

Mark Shechner, an English professor at SUNY Buffalo, has edited a collection of Rosenfeld’s work...