John Thompson was part of the vibrant, post-modern, New York literary scene of the nineteen fifties, sixties, and seventies. That scene was famously fueled by love, liquor, food, and parties, but most of all by ideas, by words, serious and witty, spoken and written. Thompson’s writing embodies the spirit of the times, and naturally so, as he was a close friend and colleague of many of the other prominent literary and publishing figures of the era. These two volumes of Thompson’s collected work include his essays, book reviews, and stories, as well as poems, some previously unpublished. The pieces are clever and beautifully written; many of them resonate with current issues of race, climate change, war, and economic disparity. The early stories are especially moving. The works trace the development of Thompson's thinking and are thus an important part of the post-war era. As critical commentary, they contain astute insights into the cultural movements and intellectual history of the time.