"These selected letters are an extraordinary illustration of epistolary art at its finest, providing some 'inside' information about what went on in literary criticism in the mid-twentieth century and insights into the mind of a teacher / scholar / administrator worthy of emulation."
-James A. Grimshaw, Jr., author of Understanding Robert Penn Warren
"The book makes a valuable record of the intellectual ferment of the New Criticism, demonstrating its national dimensions and offering important insights on the nature of academic vocation from a man who was truly at the center."
"Reading these letters makes one eager to go back to Robert Heilman's books and articles, but it also arouses the suspicion that it may be his letters even more than his critical works, fine as they are, that have the most lasting interest..The editors can be proud of their work in assembling this monument to the humanity, integrity, and hard-earned wisdom of one of the foremost of those New Critics whose humanistic legacy has for decades been too often either neglected or distorted."
"Any letter of Heilman's has an astonishing measures of wit and wisdom. This book of letters constitutes the prototype of what a book of letters written to and from a great correspondent can be. I salute Heilman and his editors."
"Reading [these letters] reminds us that once letter writing was an art form and that through them great minds used it to seek out kindred spirits with whom to commune about the great issues of the times. The book is a feast for the intellect and literary sensibility."
-The Key Reporter, Phi Beta Kappa
"This collection offers . . . a glimpse behind the curtain of how poets often are made famous (in part by patient and laborious handholding of fellow academics and supportive institutions), and it offers literature scholars a firsthand look at the New Criticism as it was founded and subsequently flourished."
"The six-hundred-plus letters selected . . . represent letter writing (almost a lost art in today's world of electronic communication) at its finest, not merely because of the articulation and use of language, but more so because of the educational issues they address and the ethical and gentlemanly manner in which Heilman responded to them."