Cover for SAXTON: The Great Midland

The Great Midland

One of the best novels ever to portray the lives of American Communist activists, The Great Midland is a story of love and radical politics set just before World War II. It was published in 1948, when cold-war hysteria engulfed the United States; the publisher subsequently tried to pretend the book did not exist, and review media and bookstores ignored it.

The book vividly depicts the multiracial and multiethnic alliances that developed as Chicago railroad workers struggled to organize. It presents some of its narrative through the complex consciousness of Stephanie Koviak, a young, first-generation Polish-American.

"Readers of history may be surprised to learn that one of the foremost interpreters of the United States past, Alexander Saxton, also published remarkable novels in his younger days. The eloquence, the inventiveness, the attentiveness to class experiences and racial differences, and the keen eye for detail that enrich his writing of history also grace his fiction." -- David Roediger, University of Minnesota

A volume in the series The Radical Novel Reconsidered, edited by Alan Wald

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