Glicksberg was born to Lillian and Isidore Glicksberg in Warsaw, Poland. He moved to the United States at a young age and became a naturalized citizen. He attended the College of the City of New York for a bachelor's degree which he received in 1923, Columbia University for a masters which he received in 1924, and the University of Pennsylvania for a PhD which he received in 1938. He was also a Fulbright Scholar at Bar-Ilan University in Israel. His PhD dissertation became the book Walt Whitman and the Civil War which was considered an important addition to the existent scholarship on Whitman. He passed away on February 14, 1988, survived by his two children, Stephanie and Paul, grandchildren Elena, Benjamin, and Rachel, and great-grandchildren, Talia, Danielle, and Jacob, in New York City.
Glicksberg taught English at South Philadelphia High School for multiple years, and eventually joined Brooklyn College as a professor, becoming professor emeritus by 1971. He also taught at multiple other colleges, including the New School for Social Research and the City University of New York.
He was a prolific author, writing multiple books including Walt Whitman and the Civil War (University of Pennsylvania Press, 1933), (which in particular was referred to as an important addition to the existing writing on Walt Whitman) Literature and Religion, A Study in Conflict (Southern Methodist University Press, 1960), The Self in Modern Literature (Pennsylvania State University Press, 1963), Modern Literature and the Death of God (Martinus Nijhoff, 1966), The Literature of Nihilism (Bucknell University Press, 1975), and others. He was also the editor of American Literary Criticism, 1900 to 1950 (Hendricks House, 1952) and wrote multiple essays including for the Arizona Quarterly.
Glicksberg wrote on a variety of topics, but especially some of his later books like The Ironic Vision in Modern Literature focused on the progression from more heroic tales to more ironic tales as writing approaches the modern day.
- U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014
- "Glicksberg, Charles Irving, 1901-.... @ SNAC". snaccooperative.org. Retrieved 2018-10-21.
- "Paid Notice: Deaths GLICKSBERG, CHARLES I." Retrieved 2018-10-21.
- "The Unz Review". The Unz Review. Retrieved 2018-10-21.
- Glicksberg, Charles Irving (1952). American literary criticism, 1900-1950. New York: Hendricks House.
- 1900-1998., Glicksberg, Charles I. (Charles Irving) (1969). The ironic vision in modern literature. The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff. ISBN 9789401509770. OCLC 651802921.CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)