Abstract

This essay shows how Chester Himes’s first novel, If He Hollers Let Him Go (1945), centrally engages with and contests two universalisms manifest in World War II-era Los Angeles: that of militarized US nationalism and that of procommunist organized labor. By emphasizing the irony of his protagonist’s nationalist and working-class identities, Himes points to the limits of these universalisms, the disparity between their claims and their lived realities, and instead gestures to emergent multiracial coalitions that look beyond the horizon of the nation to imagine counterhegemonic forms of social justice.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1945-6182
Print ISSN
1062-4783
Pages
pp. 157-173
Launched on MUSE
2015-07-17
Open Access
No
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