Barr, Philip Armour and Alfred Stieglitz. After proposing in , he married Sara White on December 28, They ultimately separated in , partly as a result of Dreiser's infatuation with Thelma Cudlipp, the teenage daughter of a work colleague, but were never formally divorced.
In Dreiser met his cousin Helen Richardson with whom he began an affair with sado-masochistic elements. They eventually married on 13 June It sold poorly, but it later acquired a considerable reputation.
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He was a witness to a lynching in and wrote the short story, "Cracker," which appeared in Ainslee's Magazine in His second novel, Jennie Gerhardt , was published in Many of Dreiser's subsequent novels dealt with social inequality. His first commercial success was An American Tragedy , which was made into a film in and again in as A Place in the Sun. Already in , when Dreiser began work as a newspaperman he had begun "to observe a certain type of crime in the United States that proved very common.
It seemed to spring from the fact that almost every young person was possessed of an ingrown ambition to be somebody financially and socially. Dreiser claimed to have collected such stories every year between and The murder in of Avis Linnell by Clarence Richeson particularly caught his attention. By this murder was the basis of one of two separate novels begun by Dreiser.
Though primarily known as a novelist, Dreiser published his first collection of short stories, Free and Other Stories in The collection contained 11 stories. A particularly interesting story, "My Brother Paul", was a brief biography of his older brother, Paul Dresser, who was a famous songwriter in the s. This story was the basis for the romantic movie, "My Gal Sal".
The latter was published posthumously in Dreiser was often forced to battle against censorship because of his depiction of some aspects of life, such as sexual promiscuity, offended authorities and popular opinion.
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This included the lynching of Frank Little, one of the leaders of the Industrial Workers of the World, the Sacco and Vanzetti case, the deportation of Emma Goldman, and the conviction of the trade union leader Tom Mooney. In November , Dreiser led the National Committee for the Defense of Political Prisoners to the coalfields of southeastern Kentucky, where they took testimony from coal miners in Pineville and Harlan on the violence against the miners and their unions by the coal operators.
Dreiser was a committed socialist, and wrote several non-fiction books on political issues. Thanks for telling us about the problem.
Return to Book Page. Preview — Political Writings by Theodore Dreiser. Political Writings by Theodore Dreiser ,. Jude Davies Editor. Theodore Dreiser staked his reputation on fearless expression in his fiction, but he never was more outspoken than when writing about American politics, which he did prolifically.
Although he is remembered primarily as a novelist, the majority of his twenty-seven books were nonfiction treatises. To Dreiser, everything was political. His sense for the hype and hypocrisies o Theodore Dreiser staked his reputation on fearless expression in his fiction, but he never was more outspoken than when writing about American politics, which he did prolifically. His sense for the hype and hypocrisies of politics took shape in reasoned but emphatic ruminations in his fiction and nonfiction on the hopes and disappointments of democracy, the temptations of nationalism and communism, the threat and trumpets of war, and the role of writers in resisting and advancing political ideas.
Spanning a period of American history from the Progressive Era to the advent of the Cold War, this generous volume collects Dreiser's most important political writings from his journalism, broadsides, speeches, private papers, and long out-of-print nonfiction books. Touching on the Great Depression, the New Deal, and both World Wars as well as Soviet Russia and the persecution of Jews in Nazi Germany, these writings exemplify Dreiser's candor and his penchant for championing the defenseless and railing against corruption.
Positing Dreiser as an essential public intellectual who addressed the most important issues of the first half of the twentieth century, these writings also navigate historical terrain with prescient observations on topics such as religion, civil rights, national responsibility, individual ethics, global relations, and censorship that remain particularly relevant to a contemporary audience. Editor Jude Davies provides historical commentaries that frame these selections in the context of his other writings, particularly his novels.
Get A Copy. Hardcover , pages. More Details Other Editions 3. The first two volumes of a projected trilogy of novels based on the life of the American transportation magnate Charles T. Yerkes, The Financier and The Titan , followed.
Dreiser recorded his experiences on a trip to Europe in A Traveler at Forty This book brought Dreiser a degree of critical and commercial success he had never before attained and would not thereafter equal. He became involved in a variety of causes and slackened his literary production. A visit to the Soviet Union in produced a skeptical critique of that communist society entitled Dreiser Looks at Russia His only other significant publications in the late s were collections of stories and sketches written earlier, Chains and A Gallery of Women , and an unsuccessful collection of poetry , Moods, Cadenced and Declaimed He came to reconsider his opposition to communism and wrote the anticapitalist Tragic America His only important literary achievement in this decade was the autobiography of his childhood and teens, Dawn , one of the most candid self-revelations by any major writer.
There he set about marketing the film rights to his earlier works. In he began belatedly to rewrite The Bulwark, a novel begun in The task was completed in , the same year he married Helen. Sara White Dreiser had died in One of his last acts was to join the American Communist Party.