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Blood On The Forge by William Attaway. New York. 1991. Monthly Review Press. paperback. 315 pages.  Cover illustration: Detail of a drawing by Thomas Hart Benton. Cover design by Linda Mason Briggs. Forewqord by John Oliver Killens. Afterword by Richard Yarborough. 0853457220.

 

 

0853457220FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

   BLOOD ON THE FORGE is the powerful story of three black brothers who leave the rural South for the steel mills of Pittsburgh during the 1920s. Forced by racism and economic hardship to abandon their simple sharecropping life in the red-clay hills of Kentucky they follow promises of a better life in the industrial north. From the moment they step onto the freight train heading north, however they discover a world of poverty and exploitation as brutal as the one they are escaping. Amid the toil and sweat of their life in the gray factory town, they also discover a new form of racism - a racism manipulated by management to split the working class along racial lines and turn the union against itself. The afterword examines the life and career of William Attaway, as well as the contemporary response to the book, putting this in the context of the naturalist protest writing of the period, from Richard Wright NATIVE SON to John Steinbeck’s GRAPES OF WRATH.

 

 

 

Attaway William  William Attaway was born in Greenville, Mississippi, in 1911, and moved north to Chicago with his family at the age of five. His first novel, LET ME BREATHE THUNDER, was published in 1939 when he was living and working in New York City, and was followed by BLOOD ON THE FORGE in 1941. This was to be his last novel, and he spent the remainder of his career writing for radio, film, and television. He died in Los Angeles in 1986. John Oliver Killens is a novelist and essayist, and author of YOUNGBLOOD and AND THEN WE HEARD THUNDER. Richard Yarborough is an associate professor in the Department of English and a faculty research associate with the Center for Afro- American Studies at UCLA He has published essays and reviews on Afro-American literature and is completing a study of early Afro- American fiction.

 

 

 

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