Trinity of Passion: The Literary Left and the Antifascist Crusade

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Univ of North Carolina Press, Apr 1, 2011 - Literary Criticism - 344 pages
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The second of three volumes by Alan Wald that track the political and personal lives of several generations of U.S. left-wing writers, Trinity of Passion carries forward the chronicle launched in Exiles from a Future Time: The Forging of the Mid-Twentieth-Century Literary Left. In this volume Wald delves into literary, emotional, and ideological trajectories of radical cultural workers in the era when the International Brigades fought in the Spanish Civil War (1936-39) and the United States battled in World War II (1941-45). Probing in rich and haunting detail the controversial impact of the Popular Front on literary culture, he explores the ethical and aesthetic challenges that pro-Communist writers faced.

Wald presents a cross section of literary talent, from the famous to the forgotten, the major to the minor. The writers examined include Len Zinberg (a.k.a. Ed Lacy), John Oliver Killens, Irwin Shaw, Albert Maltz, Ann Petry, Chester Himes, Henry Roth, Lauren Gilfillan, Ruth McKenney, Morris U. Schappes, and Jo Sinclair. He also uncovers dramatic new information about Arthur Miller's complex commitment to the Left.

Confronting heartfelt questions about Jewish masculinity, racism at the core of liberal democracy, the corrosion of utopian dreams, and the thorny interaction between antifascism and Communism, Wald re-creates the intellectual and cultural landscape of a remarkable era.


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Introduction The Strange Career of Len Zinberg
Chapter 1 Tough Jews in the Spanish Civil War
Chapter 2 The Agony of the African American Left
Chapter 3 The Peculiarities of the Germans
Chapter 4 A Rage in Harlem
Chapter 5 Disappearing Acts
Chapter 6 The Conversion of the Jews
Chapter 7 Arthur Millers Missing Chapter
Conclusion The Fates of Antifascism
Acknowledgments and Sources

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About the author (2011)

Alan M. Wald is the H. Chandler Davis Collegiate Professor of English Literature and American Culture at the University of Michigan and is the recipient of the Mary C. Turpie Prize of the American Studies Association. His six previous books include The New York Intellectuals: The Rise and Decline of the Anti-Stalinist Left from the 1930s to the 1980s and Exiles from a Future Time: The Forging of the Mid-Twentieth-Century Literary Left.

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