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A Contest of IdeasCapital, Politics, and Labor$
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Nelson Lichtenstein

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780252037856

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252037856.001.0001

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Harvey Swados

Harvey Swados

Chapter:
(p.222) Chapter 16 Harvey Swados
Source:
A Contest of Ideas
Author(s):

Nelson Lichtenstein

Publisher:
University of Illinois Press
DOI:10.5406/illinois/9780252037856.003.0017

This chapter presents a portrait of Harvey Swados, whose novels, stories, and spirited reportage in the last decade and a half of his life helped uncover the political and social drama that unfolds in the daily routine of every American workplace. Nothing he wrote accomplished this with more power and insight than the series of interconnected short stories called On the Line, which first appeared in the fall of 1957. This humane and sympathetic portrait of the psychological and social brutality inherent in midcentury factory work injected a moral urgency into the understanding of manual labor at a time, early in the postwar era, when most literary and political intellectuals were convinced that all meaning had been drained from the toil still required of so many millions.

Keywords:   On the Line, Harvey Swados, factory work, manual labor, American workplace

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