October 29, 1947, p. 9
Letters from Readers
Mother Bloor Lauds 'Clarkton'
- Philadelphia, Pa.
Editor, Daily Worker:
Howard Fast's latest book, Clarkton, must not be treated casually as "just another good book" by "one of our best American writers."
The story of the rather ordinary small strike of one mill, in a small town, seems rather insignificant at first. But its tremendous impact grows as the story of the development of all great industries from these small beginnings. One realizes how the small industrial millionaire suddenly becomes involved in the maelstrom of big capitalist development, and all concepts of honest endeavor, all beautiful human relationships, change into rottenness and decay - verifying the precepts of the materialist conception of history.
The characters are true examples in miniature of the great industrial battles of our labor history. In fact, the key to the entire story, the full understanding of it is gathered from one illuminating paragraph: "Something bad, something rotten is dying - and something beautiful and honest and true is being born."
The author himself is a victim of the unholy, degenerate, dying system of exploitation of one class by another. Summoned to Washington by the Thomas-Rankin Committee which, illegally taking the power to restrict the right of free speech, free press and free assembly, has sentenced Fast to one year in prison. In days to come our children's children will read about these persecutions and they will ask: "We thought there was a war against fascism. Why were people like Helen Bryant, Dr. Barsky, Howard Fast sentence to prison for being against fascism?"
The answer will be given by labor and the progressives everywhere. It is not enough to say that something good, something beautiful is being born. We must help it become a reality - not a dream.
ELLA REEVE BLOOR