“Forgotten Hollwood”- Remembrance of Wouk…

Posted on May 20, 2019 by raideoman1 | No Comments

Manny P. here…

“`Herman Wouk was the Pulitzer Prize winning author of such million-selling novels as The Caine Mutiny and The Winds of War. He was part of a small group of scribes that included C. S. Lewis, Chaim Potok, and Flannery O’Connor who were steadfast in maintaining traditional religious beliefs in their writings.

“`The son of Russian Jews, Wouk was born in New York in 1915. The household was religious. His mother was a rabbi’s daughter and devoted to books. His father was a great devotee of Sholem Aleichem, the great Yiddish writer. A traveling salesman sold his family the complete works of Mark Twain and he became Wouk’s favorite writer.

“`Wouk majored in comparative literature and philosophy at Columbia University and edited the college’s humor magazine. After graduation, he headed for California, where he worked for five years on Fred Allen’s radio show.  If war had not intruded, he might have stuck to comedy sketches. After the bombing of Pearl Harbor he enlisted in the Navy and served as an officer in the Pacific.

“`In 1951, Wouk released his most celebrated novel, The Caine Mutiny. It eventually topped best-seller lists and won a Pulitzer. It was one of the initial times that a writer questioned the motives of military officers in modern conflicts. A highly popular movie followed, which starred Humphrey Bogart, Van Johnson, Fred MacMurray, and Jose Ferrer. Herman was compared with other World War II novelists:  Norman Mailer, Irwin Shaw, James Jones.

“`His next work, Marjorie Morningstar, was a tale of Jewish assimilation. It was also made into a film that starred Natalie Wood and Gene Kelly. The novel sold millions and Wouk ended up on the cover of Time Magazine.

“`The Winds of War and War and Remembrance, both of which Wouk adapted for a 1983 Emmy Award-winning television mini-series starring Robert Mitchum. The former production received some of the highest ratings in small screen history, and Wouk’s involvement covered everything from the script to commercial sponsors.

“`He eventually gave speeches and sermons around the country and received several prizes, including a Lifetime Achievement award from the Jewish Book Council. During his years in Washington, the Georgetown synagogue he attended was called Herman Wouk’s synagogue.

“`Historians, novelists, publishers, and critics gathered at the Library of Congress in 1995 to celebrate the spiritual-leaning author on his eightieth birthday. He was America’s Tolstoy.

“`The reverent Herman Wouk (above) was 103, ten days before his birthday.

Until next time>                              “never forget”

This entry was posted on Monday, May 20th, 2019 at 10:06 pm and is filed under Blog by Manny Pacheco. You can follow any comments to this post through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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