Edmund Wilson is considered to be one of the best American literary critics of the 20th century. Born on May 8, 1895, Wilson received his higher education in English, French, and Italian literature from Princeton University and graduated in 1916. During World War I, he served in the Army Intelligence Corps.Following the war, Wilson became the managing editor of Vanity Fair from 1920 to 1921, and then joined the staff of The New Republic from 1926 to 1931. He wrote his famous book, Axel's Castle: A Study in the Imaginative Literature of 1870-1930, after which his critical reputation was established. He managed to live off the earnings of that lone book before going to work for The New Yorker from 1944 to 1948.Failing to pay his income taxes between 1946 and 1955 provoked an investigation of his earnings by the Internal Revenue Service. Wilson wrote numerous books and essays before his death on June 12, 1972, in Talcottville, New York.