HOME     by HF:   Anthologies   Articles   Films   Intros   Juvenile   Mystery   Non-fiction   Novels   Pamphlets   Plays   Poetry   Stories  
  site:   About HF   Texts   Reviews   Chrono Checklist   Bookstore   Bulletin Board   Site Search   Author Index   Title Index  
Blue Heron Press   Citizen Tom Paine   Freedom Road   Last Frontier   My Glorious Brothers   Spartacus   The Children   Peekskill   Unvanquished   Masuto   EVC's Women  

Introductions, prefaces, forewords, edited works

Best Short Stories of Theodore Dreiser Best Untold Images of American Radicalism
In Danger: The Right to Speak In the American Tradition Legacy: The Orange County Story
Mother Novel and the People Red Scare in Court
Rights of Man Saving the fragments Sculpture of Bette Fast
Selected Work of Tom Paine Stop the Press! Sylvia

1945. Welles, Orson. In the American Tradition. Descriptive notes by Howard Fast (11 pp). 3 78-rpm 12" records: speeches of Lincoln, Jefferson, Wilson, FDR. Decca Records Album No. A-394-29M Personality Series.

It might be asked, and with good reason, what connection the various records in this album have with each other, why they, of all the many thousands of American statements, should be thus chosen, grouped, and presented.
At first thought, it might seem that no more than a community of presidential office exists among the following: Jefferson's first inaugural address, Lincoln's second inaugural address, Wilson's s address to the peace conference, and Franklin Delano Roosevelt's war message. Yet underneath, there is a deep and valid bond, one that is essential to the whole growth and progress of these United States as a nation...

1945. Fox, Ralph [1900-1937]. The Novel and the People. "An American preface" by Howard Fast. 128 pp, 22 cm, "First published in 1937", 'The most stimulating and exciting book of literary criticism that I have ever read.' HF, preface. (Author died in 1937 'fighting Fascism in Spain.'). International Publishers, 381 Fourth Ave., New York 16, NY. *

LONG before I read The Novel and the People, I had heard of Ralph Fox. His story came to life for me in bits and unrelated fragments, which, as I pieced them together, made a picture of a man of splendid and brave stature. In time to come, when the anti-fascist of the thirties is recognized as one of the great heroes of all human experience, Ralph Fox will be by no means the least in the ranks. And in a sense, he is typical — a combination of intellect and faith, theory and action: a peculiarly and wonderfully new servant of humanity...

1945. Paine, Thomas [1737-1809]. The Selected Work of Tom Paine. edited by Howard Fast. xiii, 338 pp, 20.8 cm, "first edition", [black cloth, gold lettering, eagle on front cover] (see: Who WasTom Paine?). Duell, Sloan & Pearce. New York. *


HARDLY was the American Revolution finished, when the seeds were sown for the Federalist Plot, which ultimately shook the young nation to its very foundations — and almost destroyed it. More will be said of this conspiracy later; now I would like to recall one incident. It concerns a letter which John Adams, one of the Federalist leaders, sent to the traitor, Timothy Pickering. In it, Adams said contemptuously:
"There is not an idea in it (the Declaration of Independence) but what had been hackneyed in Congress for two years before . . .


1945. Zoya. Soviet film. English text by Howard Fast. Musical score by Shostakovich. Played at Stanley Theater, NYC May, 1945. ("5th Week! -- New Soviet Epic" from an ad in May 15, 1945 New Masses).

1947. Gorky, Maxim [1868-1936]. Mother. introduction by Howard Fast (v-vii). 406 pp, Citadel Press. Secaucus, NJ. *

It was a long time ago that I first read Mother, by Maxim Gorky, sixteen or seventeen years; yet I still remember clearly the richness of that experience, the taste of a wine I had never known before. This was a hot, warm, wonderful liquid for someone who had mainly been swilling pap. My reading was not by plan or method; without benefit of school or curriculum, I took anything and everything that came my way, drunk with the magic of what I had discovered in books. And then I came on Mother, the first of Gorky I had ever seen, and much of what I had read before was thin and tasteless by comparison. It was tapestry after cotton and burlap, living, breathing people after cardboard cutouts...


1947. Dreiser, Theodore [1871-1945]. The Best Short Stories of Theodore Dreiser. edited with an introduction, by Howard Fast. 349 pp, 22 cm, 1st, (Fast's introduction first appeared as an article in the Sept.3,1946 issue of New Masses, entitled Dreiser's Short Stories. The introduction is a slightly shorter, somewhat edited version) (see also:Joseph Griffin, 1987). The World Publishing Company. Cleveland; New York.

editions, translations

1952. Spencer, Harold. In Danger: The Right to Speak for Peace. preface by Howard Fast. 16 pp, "If Steve Nelson and Others are Jailed for This, What Happens to Our Constitutional Rights?". Committee to Defend the Pittsburgh Six.

1953. Marion, George. Stop the Press! Being Volume 1 of the Next Hundred Years. introduction by Howard Fast (p.7-9). 224 pp, pbk, Fairplay Publishers. New York. *

For a number of years now, in the face of innumerable difficulties, George Marion has produced a series of books that mark him as one of the major journalists of our time. Whether he is writing about American expansion, the Soviet Union,the communist trial--or, as he does in this latest of his books, the over-fattened and corrupt monopoly press--he somehow manages to produce exciting and readable books, books jammed with facts, yet books that move with all the pace and suspense of first-rate melodrama...

click for larger image
1953. Biberman, Edward. The Best Untold. introduction by Howard Fast. [64] pp, 28.5 cm, Blue Heron Press. New York. *

Edward Biberman's paintings are not only truly magnificent — they are the story of the time in which we live; they are in the deepest sense illustrations for the story of our lives, bold, grand illustrations of the noblest passions and agonies and dreams of man...

(Easton Press edition)
1961. Paine, Thomas [1737-1809]. The Rights of Man. introduction by Howard Fast, illustrations by Lynd Ward. xvi, 269, [2] pp, 32 cm, col. ill. (edition limited to 1500 copies, bound in 3/4 red cloth, mottled boards, in a case). Printed for the members of the Limited Editions Club at the Stinehour Press. Lunenburg, Vt.

Thomas PAINE, a man whose writings shook the world and whose preachments on democracy have endured almost two centuries, was born on January 29, 1737, in the town of Thetford in England. His father, Quaker by religion and corset-maker by trade, was poor and not blessed by any great good fortune — but beyond these bare facts, we know little of him or of Paine's mother, or indeed of what Paine's life was like when he lived with his parents...


1980. Taylor, Ruth Ellen, editor. Legacy: The Orange County Story. foreword by Howard Fast. 224 pp, 36 cm, Orange County Register's 75th Anniversary publication.

1985. Leitner, Isabella, with Irving A. Leitner. Saving the fragments: from Auschwitz to New York. introduction by Howard Fast. xii, 131 pp, 22.4 cm, New American Library. New York. ISBN: 0-453-00502-0. *

Both Isabella Leitner and I have spent all of our lives in the twentieth century. Since I am somewhat older than Mrs. Leitner, my life touches World War I, and it can be said that in all the history of the planet Earth, there has been no period so mindlessly cruel as this twentieth century, so devastating in its disregard for human life and for every symbol of morality that man has painfully acquired through the ages. World Wars I and II took more lives than all the wars preceding them in four thousand years of recorded history. Such acts as the Holocaust, the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the avalanche of death loosed in Vietnam, were matched by lesser but no less monstrous acts—for example, the hundred thousand or more put to death by Idi Amin, the forty thousand victims of the death squads in El Salvador, over a million men, women, and children cut down by the lunatic death squads of Indonesia, the endless murders of both body and soul in South Africa—and currently the murderous religious mania of the Ayatollah Khomeini...

design and illustration
by Steven Brower
1992. Sylvia. 332 pp, 21.7 cm, A Birch Lane Press Book, introduction to the first American edition published under his own name. Carol Publishing Group. Secaucus, NJ. ISBN: 1-55972-128-6.

IN 1959, THE NOTORIOUS BLACKLIST, OPERATIONAL UNDER THE auspices of J. Edgar Hoover and the House Committee on Unamerican Activities, was still functioning - close to the end of its unappetizing life, but still enforced. I had been blacklisted as a writer ever since Clark Clifford confessed to the Unamerican Committee that he had purchased and distributed as Christmas gifts fifty copies of my biographical novel Citizen Tom Paine. Pleading that he did so without being aware that he was handling "communist" propaganda, Mr. Clifford was let off the hook...

(click for detail:
10th Anniversary IWO logo
Rockwell Kent, 1940)
1993. Sabin, Arthur J. [1930-]. Red Scare in Court: New York versus the International Workers Order. foreword by Howard Fast. xviii, 369 pp, 24 cm, bibl. refs, index. University of Pennsylvania Press. Philadelphia. ISBN: 0812231899. *

In 1946, with the dead of the great war against fascism and Nazism still warm in their graves, another kind of war was declared in the United States. It was a war against dissent, a war against ideas — particularly the ideas of socialism — and against the people who promulgated these ideas. The Soviet Union, which had seen 20 million of its citizens perish in the war against Hitler, was declared the enemy of mankind, and a kind of demented civil war was waged in the United States against anyone who defended any aspect of Communism, Socialism or the Soviet Union...

(click for detail)
1995. Fast, Bette. The Sculpture of Bette Fast. foreword by Howard Fast. Introduction by M.E. Sharpe. 56 pp, 28 cm, pbk, 1st edition, M.E. Sharpe. Armonk, N.Y. ISBN: 1563245876. *

I first met my wife, Bette Fast, in September of 1935. It was the low point of the depression years, but we were young, hopeful, and filled with the passion that comes of choosing art as a way of life. She was a student at Parson's School of Design; I was working as a shipping clerk for twelve dollars a week. She lived in a tiny basement room with a tiny allowance, and on that, together with my income, we managed to survive. On our first date she drew a sensitive sketch of me, which I still cherish. She was eighteen years old; I was twenty. Two years later we were married, and we remained married and dedicated to our art and our companionship and love for the next fifty-seven years. Bette died of cancer at the age of seventy-seven on November 9, 1994...

click for larger image
1998. Buhle, Paul and Edmund B. Sullivan. Images of American Radicalism. foreword by Howard Fast. 462 pp, Christopher Publishing House. ISBN: 0815805098.

Historians Buhle and Sullivan engagingly document here the history of American radicalism. The more than 1500 illustrations provided - 72 in color - are paintings, drawings, cartoons, photographs, lithographs, posters, and other graphics depicting religious visionaries, Shakers, abolitionists, suffragists, anarchists, socialists, Communists, feminists, trade unionists, Civil Rights workers, gay and lesbian activists, environmentalists, and others in their quest for a cooperative society overcoming a competitive capitalism. (Library Journal)