The Algonquin Round Table

25 Years with the Legends Who Lunch

By Konrad Bercovici
Edited by Mirana Comstock

Subjects: New York/regional, Biography, American Culture, American History, Performing Arts
Series: Excelsior Editions
Imprint: Excelsior Editions
Paperback : 9781438497235, 200 pages, May 2024

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Table of contents

List of Illustrations

Mirana Comstock


The Algonquin Round Table

Who's Who: The Algonquin Guest List


The facts and legends of New York's famed artistic hub told by one of its key participants.


Located in New York's theatre district, the Algonquin Hotel became an artistic hub for the city and a landmark in America's cultural life. It was a meeting place and home away from home for such luminaries as famed wits/authors Alexander Woollcott and Dorothy Parker; Broadway and Hollywood stars, including Tallulah Bankhead and Charles Laughton; popular raconteurs like Robert Benchley; and New York City mayors Jimmy Walker and Fiorello LaGuardia. Observing it all was celebrated author and journalist Konrad Bercovici. Born in Romania, Bercovici settled in New York, where he became known for reporting on its rich cultural life. While digging through an inherited trunk of family papers, his granddaughter, Mirana Comstock, discovered this previously unpublished manuscript on Bercovici's years at the Algonquin Round Table. Lovers of New York lore and fans of American culture will enjoy his vivid, intimate accounts of what it was like to be a member of this distinguished circle.

Konrad Bercovici was a celebrated author and journalist and friend of many leading 20th century figures, including John Reed, Charlie Chaplin, Ernest Hemingway, and Paul Robeson. Mirana Comstock is a screenwriter, poet, and musician who has recorded and performed in New York and the Boston area, where she now resides. She is currently adapting one of her grandfather's books as a miniseries.


"Konrad Bercovici was a writer of great gusto. A world traveler who enriched his writing talent in the tradition of the determined journeyman of life." — New York Times

"I have met a number of great men and Konrad was, of course, a great man, but never did I meet such a rare man. He was rare in the extraordinary accumulation of knowledge in so many variegated fields of life that it stunned the imagination to contemplate it. We all sat at his feet to learn and marvel … If I have to count the blessings of my life, high upon the list, if not indeed first, would be the privilege of being with him for perhaps a quarter of a century at daily luncheons." — Louis Nizer, author of My Life in Court

"…[Bercovici] wrote on sociological questions from the vantage of an educated man, an immigrant to one of the most complex and multicolored cities on earth—New York. The completeness with which he assimilated the flavors, forces and antecedents of his new suroundings testifies to his large capacity for social feeling." — Time Magazine