Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Studs Lonigan

David Bernstein reviewed Martin Redish's book, The Logic of Persecution, for the Northwestern Law Review over at The Volokh Conspiracy.

Bernstein lists a few things he never knew about Amercian Communism including this below about Hollywood --although it was well known to everyone else in the anti-Stalinist left.

During the "Red Decade" of the 1930s, Hollywood Communists ran their own blacklist againist their political enemies. Because the studio bosses didn't support this blacklist, it wasn't as effective as the 1950s blacklist of Communists, but it seriously harmed careers nevertheless.
I think that's the major reason why Chicago's James T. Farrell had to wait until 1960 to see Studs Lonigan made into a film.

5 comments:

Pat Hickey 8:35 AM  

Remember, Bill, Farrell waltzed with the Commies for a number of years; until Totsky got axed in Mexico. Farrell also had a very brief career as a Hollywood screen-writer. He became a persona non grata of the Left all through the 60's, 70's and 80's. He and John Dos Passos took a pass on Marxism and continue to be ignored by academic totolitarians.

Bill Baar 9:02 AM  

oh yes, he was a Trotskyist for sure. But that's what got him in trouble with the orthodox Communists and caused him to get blacklisted when they were shot callers in Hollywood.

Anonymous,  12:42 PM  

James T. Farrell's problems in Hollywood were attributable to his not so thinly veiled attack on Fr. Charles Coughlin in the novel "Tommy Gallagher's Crusade."
If there were any socialist, revolutionary figures which were of interest to the young Farrell, they would have been Irish not Russian, Connolly not Trotsky.

Pat Hickey 1:30 PM  

That would be a neatly tied up package, but Farrell served on a committee of American intellectuals who had attempted to save the life of Trotsky in the early 1940's; his attack on the raidio priest also figures in Judgement Day of the Lonigan Trilogy. His Hollywood troubles had more to do with booze and writer's block than politics.

Farrell was not as annoymous would suggest - A Celt. He like is teamster father was an Internationalist ( IWW) Lefty - for a time.

Anonymous,  8:20 AM  

Writer's block? Hmmmm. Farrell published either a novel or collection of short stories almost every year between 1932 and 1960! Some writer's block. I don't deny Farrell's socialism but he came of age in a place and time, among friends and neighbors, who were intensely interested, if not involved, in the Irish Citizen's Army not the Red Army, Cumann na Gael not the Comintern, the IRB not the IWW. Join the Gaelic League Hickey!

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