Trin­i­ty of Pas­sion: The Lit­er­ary Left and the Antifas­cist Crusade

Alan M. Wald
  • Review
By – March 30, 2012
This read­able and infor­ma­tive vol­ume of tech­ni­cal research is vol­ume two of a tril­o­gy cov­er­ing the lives and careers of sev­er­al gen­er­a­tions of Amer­i­can left wing writ­ers work­ing against the exist­ing sys­tem, to a greater or less­er extent. In the present vol­ume, most of the writ­ers entered the lit­er­ary busi­ness in the lat­ter half of the 1930’s. Wald deter­mined to dig into the tra­jec­to­ries,” i.e., out­ward bound move­ments, involv­ing lit­er­ary, per­son­al, and polit­i­cal” inter­ests, in what he calls the peri­od of the “‘antifas­cist cru­sade,’” which they pur­sued with blind zeal. Jew­ish fig­ures are referred to through­out the book, and Jews are also giv­en three sep­a­rate chap­ters. One of the com­mend­able fea­tures of Wald’s trea­sure trove of infor­ma­tion here is that, embed­ded through­out his sober and patient trac­ing of the vicis­si­tudes of Com­mu­nist Par­ty and Social­ist par­ty pol­i­tics, as well as fascism’s fac­tion­al advo­cates, he sprin­kles brief bios of many famil­iar (to old­er read­ers) nota­bles who may have had any­thing to do with his so-called antifas­cist cru­sade.” Wald’s intel­lec­tu­al peep show fea­ture may have slight­ly more read­er inter­est than the heav­ier back­ground por­tion, but the entire prod­uct is a gar­den of read­er delights. Acknowl­edg­ments, index, notes, and sources.
Samuel I. Bell­man is pro­fes­sor emer­i­tus at Cal­i­for­nia State Poly­tech­nic Uni­ver­si­ty of Pomona. He has been writ­ing on Jew­ish Amer­i­can writ­ers since 1959.

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