“In literary history, the genre called the essay is a relatively new form. After a lifetime of publishing purely academic prose, I was delighted to read Irwin Epstein’s new book Men as Friends: From Cicero to Svevo to Cataldo.  Well-laced with humor, psychological insight and sociological awareness, his new book is a collection of individual tales that can be read as stand-alone essays, reflecting his experiences with men over the course of his life—some family, some boyhood pals, some professional, and many a combination of the personal and professional. In part a series of meditations on the joys and sorrows of friendships between men, Men as Friends lives up to its name. At times tender and funny and at times tough and critical, each chapter remains a thoroughly enjoyable read. Cumulatively, they present us with the half-life of a remarkably erudite, discerningly critical, often hilarious and very loving man. While his wife Fran is undoubtedly the love of his life, a sequel volume on Irwin’s many female friends would be quite welcome. As a work of literature however, this book is great fun. But I am glad we weren’t buddies in our earlier years!”