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Trinity of PassionThe Literary Left and the Antifascist Crusade$
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Alan M. Wald

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780807830758

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: July 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807882368_wald

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Tough Jews in the Spanish Civil War

Tough Jews in the Spanish Civil War

(p.16) 1 Tough Jews in the Spanish Civil War
Trinity of Passion

Alan M. Wald

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter presents a biographical narrative of a select group of Left-wing writers and their careers, namely: Milton Wolff, Alvah Bessie, and William Herrick. It describes how the lives of these writers are disparate except in the respect that all were raised in secular New York Jewish families with religious traditions at some distance from their lives, although a Yiddish culture was present. The chapter notes that all suffered the loss of or alienation from their fathers at a young age; two were won to radicalism in the early Depression—the first was initiated by teenage acquaintances, the second by the arguments of his fellow intellectuals, the third was born into a revolutionary family during World War I. It observes that their routes to Communism, Spain, and writing novels collectively comprise a vital subset of the literary Left, as well as a hitherto neglected segment in Jewish American cultural history.

Keywords:   biographical narrative, Left-wing writers, Milton Wolff, Alvah Bessie, William Herrick, Yiddish, Communism, Spain, Jewish American

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