A World to Win

A World to Win

3.16 (6 ratings by Goodreads)
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Written in the full heat of the Great Depression, Jack Conroy's "A World to Win" bears the marks of the labor struggles and union strikes he witnessed in the early 1930s. Like Dickens, Conroy evokes compassion and warmth for his absurd, comic, tragic characters through caricature, using parody to extract humor from their gray, circumscribed lives. Set in St. Louis, the narrative centers on Leo and Robert Hurley, two half brothers who are divided by education and aspirations. Leo is an unlikely proletarian hero who finally gains political consciousness in spite of himself. Robert has literary pretensions (but little talent) and a head clogged with scraps of genteel romance and Victorian poetry. As Leo and Robert grope toward reconciliation, they come into contact with hybrids of artistic milieus, radical politics, and labor activism that were particular to the Popular Front era. The introduction by Douglas Wixson shows how Conroy's writing is embedded in his experiences and also how his flawless ear for language shapes both form and character in the novel.
Moving readers from a sentimentalized concern for the poor to a more concrete contemplation of the social and political conditions that characterize their lives, "A World to Win" serves as a reminder of the continuing importance of a dedication, like Conroy's, to giving voice to the voiceless.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 384 pages
  • 139.2 x 203.5 x 21.1mm | 447.88g
  • Baltimore, United States
  • English
  • 0252069277
  • 9780252069277

Review quote

"Narrated in a brisk and interesting manner -- and enhanced by a colorful array of literary and vocal styles (speeches, songs, poems, dialogues) -- the story concerns the development from childhood to maturity of half-brothers Leo and Robert Hurley and how and when they became actively involved with the disadvantaged lower class (i.e., the workers) beset by penury, hopelessness, and personal tragedy, struggling to organize for bettter working conditions and dealing with the competing claims (for support) of the labor unions, the Communist Party, and other radical movements... Particularly memorable is how they ultimately come together -- desperately and tragically." -- Choice Washington Post Book World listed this volume as a new paperback edition "by people who weren't afraid to write about the working man, about class and social and economic injustices and other unsexy topics."
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Rating details

6 ratings
3.16 out of 5 stars
5 17% (1)
4 0% (0)
3 67% (4)
2 17% (1)
1 0% (0)
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