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North Castle Books, 1951 - Fiction - 363 pages
12 Reviews
Spartacus, a fictionalization of a slave revolt in ancient Rome in 71 B.C., is well known today partly because of the 1960 movie starring Kirk Douglas and Laurence Olivier. It was originally published in 1951 by the author himself, after being turned down by every mainstream publisher of the day because of Fast's blacklisting for his Communist Party sympathies. The story of Spartacus, born a slave, trained as a gladiator, who led a slave revolt that was eventually put down by Crassus, was immensely popular, has sold millions of copies, and has gone through nearly a hundred editions. The appearance of this title in the North Castle series brings back into print a book that many regard as a classic, and is enhanced with a new Introduction by the author.

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Review: Spartacus

User Review  - Dave Stahl - Goodreads

While occasionally marred by entirely forgivable ahistorical and anachronistic lapses, Fast did his homework for this unexpectedly stirring work. Rome, in all of its messy, corrupted glory, is ... Read full review

Review: Spartacus

User Review  - Fredrick Danysh - Goodreads

A novel about slave revolt in the Roman Empire that takes place across the length of the Rome. It is full of intrigue and ambition. Served as the basis for both a movie and a television show. Read full review

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About the author (1951)

Howard Fast was born January 11, 1914. The grandson of Jewish immigrants from Ukraine, he was raised in a poor family, and his politics have always been an important part of his life and work. A fighter for anti-Fascist causes and a member of the Communist party, he was jailed for three months during the 1950s for refusing to testify about his political activity. Blacklisted as a result, he founded his own publishing house, Blue Heron Press, which released his novel Spartacus (1951), which was made into a popular film in 1960. Some of his works were written under the pseudonym E. V. Cunningham. Fast's first novel was published in 1933 during the Great Depression, and he has had a solidly successful career ever since. Considered to be one of the world's most widely read writers, his books have been translated into 82 languages. More than 10 of his novels have been made into films, and The Immigrants (1977) was made into a television miniseries in 1979. His novels are page-turners, in which characters struggle with personal, political, and religious questions in their lives. The female characters-a number of his books have female protagonists-are strong, intelligent, and capable people who must fight to maintain their families and their fortunes amidst the tumultuous events of the twentieth century. Howard Fast died on March 12, 2003.

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