Taking a look at the early, and in particular, the World War I novels of John Dos Passos, this article argues for the recognition and preservation of a revolutionarily ‘tender’ queer, working-class politics in those texts. Though scholars hardly agree that World War One was an explicitly queer or merely homosocial space, Dos Passos’s willingness to depict queer lives frankly and sympathetically earned criticism then, and critical silence now. This article probes Dos Passos’s early progressive politics as well as his significant rejection of them in the lead-up to World War Two, and argues that this reversal was not surprising, but may have led to the relative obscurity of these politics to even contemporary readers. Mobilizing recent radical queer politics described by Samuel Delany and theories of revolutionary love by Srecko Horvat, this essay argues that the inter-class contact, physical and social, creates the conditions whereby a challenge to capitalist alienation can be mounted by the men who emerge at these intersections.


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pp. 26-50
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