Lineages of the Literary Left: Essays in Honor of Alan M. Wald


Lineages of the Literary Left: Essays in Honor of Alan M. Wald



For nearly half a century, Alan M. Wald’s pathbreaking research has demonstrated that attention to the complex lived experiences of writers on the Left provides a new context for viewing major achievements as well as instructive minor ones in United States fiction, poetry, drama, and criticism. His many publications have illuminated the creative lives of figures such as James T. Farrell, Willard Motley, Muriel Rukeyser, Philip Rahv, Richard Wright, Ann Petry, Kenneth Fearing, and Arthur Miller. He has delved into a consideration of Sidney Hook and pragmatism, brought attention to debates within tendencies associated with Cannonism and Shachtmanism, and developed a theory of Popular Front culture. His investigations have opened the archives of Irving Howe, Sol Funaroff, Alfred Hayes, Paule Marshall, Sherry Mangan, Samuel Sillen, and Rebecca Pitts. Wald’s magisterial studies in modern American culture have also led to the rediscovery of unduly neglected writers including lesbians and gays across the Left.

The essays in this volume in honor of Alan M. Wald investigate aspects of intellectual, literary, and cultural movements and figures associated with left-wing politics beginning in the early twentieth century and continuing into our own time. Intimately linked with social struggle, the thinkers and actors analyzed in these diverse essays can be collectively understood to form the intertwined lineages of the Literary Left. Moreover, the critics and historians participating in this tribute–including contributors Tariq Ali, Michael Löwy, Rachel Rubin, Dayo Gore and many others, attest to the varied lineages comprising myriad scholarly traditions as well. The collection stresses “lineages” and “traditions” in the plural, to indicate the multiple tendencies, fields and methods that serve to expand notions of the Literary Left.



Publication Date



Michigan Publishing


Ann Arbor, MI


American Literature | Cultural History

Lineages of the Literary Left: Essays in Honor of Alan M. Wald