Though history has labeled him an art critic, Harold Rosenberg was no specialist. He believed he could write about any topic big enough to interest him. Born in Brooklyn in 1906, he made his Manhattan debut as a poet devoted to revolution, aesthetic and political. Attracting little notice, he reappeared in prose. His fast-moving essays won him a place at Partisan Review, Dissent, and other left-wing journals of the Depression years. In these circles, Marxist sympathies were obligatory. Rosenberg met the obligation but it chafed against his large idea of himself. After the war, he denounced communist dogma for imposing a rigidity on the mind that relieves it of the need to think.