The Geography of the Blacklist: the case of Howard Fast

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Deery, Phillip (2011) The Geography of the Blacklist: the case of Howard Fast. American Communist History, 10 (3). pp. 229-261. ISSN 1474-3892


The historiography of the blacklist is uneven. There have been numerous scholarly studies and personal memoirs concerning blacklisting during the McCarthyist era, particularly in the entertainment industry. But there are very few works that directly focus on the blacklisting of writers, or refer to the subject of this paper, Howard Fast. There is no discussion of the processes or consequences of the blacklisting of Fast’s books in a critical biography, since none exists. This paper will therefore focus for the first time on the blacklisting experience of Fast. The period examined will be 1947 to 1958, when Fast’s literary reputation in the United States plummeted, along with the sales of his books. The paper will examine four different instances of blacklisting and explore the impact on Fast’s life. It will demonstrate that blacklisting significantly harmed Fast – professionally, financially and physically. In seeking to counteract such blacklisting, he used various devices, notably self-publication, none of them successful. It was only after he publicly renounced the Communist Party in 1957 that both his literary reputation and his access to publishers were restored

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Item type Article
DOI 10.1080/14743892.2011.631308
Official URL
Subjects Historical > SEO Classification > 970121 Expanding Knowledge in History and Archaeology
Historical > FOR Classification > 2103 Historical Studies
Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > School of Social Sciences and Psychology
Historical > RFCD Classification > 430000 History and Archaeology
Keywords ResPubID23925, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Cold War, FBI, censorship, school reading lists, communism, McCarthy era, Commmunist Party
Citations in Scopus 1 - View on Scopus
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