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Political Writings

Theodore Dreiser

Publication Year: 2011

Theodore Dreiser staked his reputation on fearless expression in his fiction, but he never was more outspoken than when writing about American politics. Spanning a period in American history from the Progressive Era to the advent of the Cold War, this generous volume collects Dreiser's most important political writings from his journalism, broadsides, speeches, private papers, and long out-of-print nonfiction books. Touching on the Great Depression, the New Deal, and both World Wars as well as Soviet Russia and the persecution of Jews in Nazi Germany, these writings exemplify Dreiser's candor and his penchant for championing the defenseless and railing against corruption. The works also navigate historical terrain with prescient observations on topics such as religion, civil rights, national responsibility, individual ethics, global relations, and censorship that remain relevant to a contemporary audience.

Published by: University of Illinois Press


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pp. 1-5

Title Page

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pp. 6-6


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pp. 7-7

Table of Contents

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pp. vii-ix

List of Illustrations

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pp. x-11

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pp. xi-xiv

Theodore Dreiser’s considerable fame as a novelist has overshadowed much of his other writing. Of the twenty-seven books he published during his lifetime, only eight were novels—and two of these, one unfinished at his death, were issued posthumously...

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pp. xv-17

Previously unpublished works by Theodore Dreiser and illustrations from the Theodore Dreiser Papers and the W. A. Swanberg Collection at the Rare Book and Manuscript Library, University of Pennsylvania Libraries, are published courtesy...

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pp. xvii-xxv

Struggles over Theodore Dreiser’s political significance and the importance of politics for Dreiser’s reputation were evident at his memorial service on 3 January 1946. The funeral party was addressed by both the communist John Howard Lawson...

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Editorial Note

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pp. xxvii-xxix

The corpus of Dreiser’s political writing and social criticism comprises more than two hundred editorials, articles for magazines and newspapers, essays, broadsides, and speeches, and much or all of four books...

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Part One: 1895-1910

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pp. 1-40

In the decade and a half around the turn of the century, Dreiser addressed political issues in three main ways. As editor of Ev’ry Month from 1895 to 1897 he expressed trenchant criticism of contemporary American society, largely in moralistic...

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Part Two: 1911-1928

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pp. 41-105

Dreiser’s fiction, travel writing, and plays of the 1910s examine, among other things, industrial organization at various levels of society. His interest in the workings of finance capitalism is evident in the first two volumes of the Cowperwood...

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Part Three: 1929-1937

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pp. 107-212

In response to the economic crisis, labor conflicts, and international tensions of the 1930s, Dreiser increasingly devoted his time and energy to politics. Moving markedly to the left in 1930–31, he campaigned on behalf of some of the most oppressed...

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Part Four: 1938-1945

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pp. 213-293

The main focus of Dreiser’s political writing after 1938 was dictated by the international tensions that culminated in World War II. He campaigned against 1930s militarism and on behalf of victims of new military technologies, such as the civilians...


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pp. 295-321

E-ISBN-13: 9780252090127
Print-ISBN-13: 9780252035852

Page Count: 352
Publication Year: 2011

OCLC Number: 841171362
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Political Writings

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Subject Headings

  • Dreiser, Theodore, 1871-1945 -- Political and social views.
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