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A World to Win

by Douglas Wixson

  • ISBN: 9780252069277
  • ISBN10: 0252069277

A World to Win

by Douglas Wixson

  • List Price: $17.95
  • Binding: Paperback
  • Publisher: Univ of Illinois Pr
  • Publish date: 09/01/2000
  • ISBN: 9780252069277
  • ISBN10: 0252069277
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Description: Written in the full heat of the Great Depression, Jack Conroy's A World to Win bears the marks of the labor struggles and union strikes he witnessed in the early 1930s. Like Dickens, Conroy evokes compassion and warmth for his absurd, comic, tragic characters through caricature, using parody to extract humor from their gray, circumscribed lives.

Set in St. Louis, the narrative centers on Leo and Robert Hurley, two half brothers who are divided by education and aspirations. Leo is an unlikely proletarian hero who gains political consciousness in spite of himself. Robert has literary pretensions (but little talent) and a head clogged with genteel romance and Victorian poetry. As they grope toward reconciliation, they come into contact with hybrids of artistic milieus, radical politics, and labor activism that were particular to the Popular Front era.

The introduction by Douglas Wixson shows how Conroy's writing is embedded in his experiences and also how his flawless ear for language shapes both form and character in the novel. Moving readers from a sentimentalized concern for the poor to a more concrete contemplation of the social and political conditions that characterize their lives, A World to Win serves as a reminder of the continuing importance of a dedication, like Conroy's, to giving voice to the voiceless.

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