In 1963 a handful of distinguished literary intellectuals launched The New York Review of Books as an antidote to the lackluster prose and middlebrow sensibility of the New York Times Book Review. For forty-three years the journal was edited by Robert Silvers and Barbara Epstein, who died June 16. What remained constant in the Review was a unique editorial alchemy: a fusion of literary sophistication with hard-nosed political analysis and an ongoing ability to match the finest minds to the finest books. Indeed, go to the Review‘s brilliantly designed electronic archive and type in the title of nearly any major work published since 1963. In all likelihood the quality of the essay that pops up on the screen will range from impressive to dazzling. Thanks to the web, the life’s work of Barbara Epstein remains fresh and accessible–and as stirring as ever.