The New Yorker, from its inception through today, has been the country's most prestigious, entertaining, and informative general-interest periodical. In Cast of Characters, Thomas Vinciguerra revisits the early years of that creative cauldron, focusing on Wolcott Gibbs, the magazine's theater critic and all-around wit. Around him swirled such legendary writers and illustrators as E. B. White, James Thurber, John O'Hara, and Peter Arno. Their stories are told here, along with those of equally colorful personalities who built what founding editor Harold Ross called not just a magazine but a ''movement.''ÃÂ
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