The second of three volumes by Alan Wald that track the political and personal lives of several generations of U.S. left-wing writers, "Trinity of Passion" carries forward the chronicle launched in "Exiles from a Future Time: The Forging of the Mid-Twentieth-Century Literary Left," In this volume Wald delves into literary, emotional, and ideological trajectories of radical cultural workers in the era when the International Brigades fought in the Spanish Civil War (1936-39) and the United States battled in World War II (1941-45). Probing in rich and haunting detail the controversial impact of the Popular Front on literary culture, he explores the ethical and aesthetic challenges that pro-Communist writers faced.
Wald presents a cross section of literary talent, from the famous to the forgotten, the major to the minor. The writers examined include Len Zinberg (a.k.a. Ed Lacy), John Oliver Killens, Irwin Shaw, Albert Maltz, Ann Petry, Chester Himes, Henry Roth, Lauren Gilfillan, Ruth McKenney, Morris U. Schappes, and Jo Sinclair. He also uncovers dramatic new information about Arthur Miller's complex commitment to the Left.
Confronting heartfelt questions about Jewish masculinity, the racism at the core of liberal democracy, the corrosion of utopian dreams, and the thorny interaction between antifascism and Communism, Wald re-creates the intellectual and cultural landscape of a remarkable era.