The Power of Political Art: The 1930s Literary Left Reconsidered

The Power of Political Art: The 1930s Literary Left Reconsidered

by Robert Shulman


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780807848531
Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
Publication date: 07/17/2000
Edition description: 1
Pages: 352
Product dimensions: 6.12(w) x 9.25(h) x 0.87(d)

About the Author

Robert Shulman is professor of English and American studies at the University of Washington. He is author of Social Criticism and Nineteenth-Century American Fictions.

Table of Contents


Chapter 1. The Cultural Dialogue of the Thirties Left
Chapter 2. Representative Careers and Reputations
Chapter 3. The Radical Art of Meridel Le Sueur
Chapter 4. The Dialectical Imagination of Josephine Herbst: The Trexler Trilogy
Chapter 5. Richard Wright's Native Son and the Political Unconscious
Chapter 6. Muriel Rukeyser's The Book of the Dead: The Modernist Poem as Radical Documentary
Chapter 7. The Left Poetry of Langston Hughes

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

The Power of Political Art generously lives up to its title. It reads the works of five 'left' writers of the 1930s as they deserve to be read, as creative artists, artists of power and distinction. Robert Shulman's splendidly lucid and cogent readings are a boon to readers old and new of these once neglected figures from America's 'radical' decade. The book will be a much appreciated companion in many a classroom.—Alan Trachtenberg, Yale University

Shulman does valuable work in emphasizing the range and vitality of the 1930s literary left. . . . A useful addition to critical efforts to re-evaluate the writings of the red decade.—Journal of American Studies

[An] elegantly conceived and engaging study. . . . Because it uncovers forgotten texts by canonical and lesser-known writers, this book offers an important corrective to U.S. literary history in this century.—Library Journal

Shulman persuasively demonstrates that, by the very standards the anticommunist critics themselves have set, many texts of 1930s literary radicalism have been unfairly excluded from the canon. His close readings show that, in terms of such presumably 'canonical' standards as complexity, irony, and nuance, Depression-era left-wing writers produced first-rate works of literature. Shulman thus crucially contributes to current reassessments of 1930s proletarian literature by squarely addressing issues of 'quality' at times skirted in the scholarship on this body of texts.—Barbara Foley, Rutgers University-Newark

This study forces new attention to the writings by major figures on the US political Left. . . . The volume is superbly and thoroughly annotated, and the author's use of primary texts is ample and persuasive enough even for those making a first visit to the writers discussed.—Choice

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