Chapter 26. Writers on the Left

  1. Paul Lauter president
  1. Alan Wald

Published Online: 16 MAR 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9781444320626.ch26

A Companion to American Literature and Culture

A Companion to American Literature and Culture

How to Cite

Wald, A. (2010) Writers on the Left, in A Companion to American Literature and Culture (ed P. Lauter), Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444320626.ch26

Editor Information

  1. Trinity College (Hartford), UK

Author Information

  1. University of Michigan, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 16 MAR 2010
  2. Published Print: 26 MAR 2010

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780631208921

Online ISBN: 9781444320626



  • “writers on the Left” - widespread term for cultural workers with socialist convictions and commitments;
  • Halford E. Luccock's American Mirror - Social, Ethical and Religious Aspects of American Literature;
  • Walter Rideout's The Radical Novel in the United States, 1900–1954 (1956);
  • pivotal debates about communism - radical writers indirectly affected as a constituent of the controversy;
  • the New Criticism, disintegrating social climate of the 1960s - gender, race, ethnicity, and sexual orientation as arenas for literary disputation;
  • controversies within the field - field of “Writers on the Left,” internal debates among Left writers themselves;
  • challenges for the future of the field - Michael Denning's monumental The Cultural Front (1996) providing perspective for a new periodization


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • I. Evolution the Field

  • II. Controversies within the Field

  • III. The Future of the Field

  • References and Further Reading