Comrades in Art and its Portrayal of the Depression

Comrades in Art and its Portrayal of the Depression

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In 1929, at the time of Wall Street Crash, the rural areas of United States of America went through a very extreme stage of poverty and many artists embraced the idea of becoming revolutionaries and they thought that revolution could be brought by their art and writings.

1929 america wall street crash

This book rightly portrays the conditions in which the artists and writers went through these phases when America was fighting against poverty, racism, injustice, prejudice against the foreign born and anti-Semitism.  The artists got involved in the chaos themselves in strikes and through their arts and writings. The artists and writers were concerned about the Sacco and Vanzetti, Scottsboro Boys case, the rape of two white girls where a black teen group was accused to be involved, incidents like this and racism and anti-worker bias of American justice system.  

In 1932, the Great Depression had impacted the whole society. That is the time when Capitalism in America seemed to be failing hugely, whereas under the rule of Communism the Soviet Union was becoming stronger. In Europe, like in Germany and Italy, the homosexuals, artists, Jews, intellects were having a hard time under the yoke of Fascism.  Therefore, it was clear that the liberal progressivism had failed at that time and the intellects had to either choose Fascism or Communism.  

america 1932 depression

The writers and artists had begun to believe that if they do not support communism, their arts and writings won’t get recognised; therefore, the Communist Party of USA became well represented in the field of arts and writings.  The artists’ groups like the Artists Union and American Artists Congress could join the left group without even becoming members of the party. John Reed Club, a left ideology and intellectual organization, became very popular and they taught and mentored working class young artists and writers until the day it was shut down.

This book then discusses various left oriented magazines published on those days. Then it discusses about the revolutionary artists of those days, who are forgotten today. Some foreign magazines which were translated and published in English were also making good circulations in US. The book has various collections of arts and writings from that time and all of them are real pictures of the society of that time.

Comrades in Art: Revolutionary Art in America

Author

The author Francis Booth has mentioned the social stature of that time and why the communist had taken up the arts and writings. You can visualize the time through imagination and also through the arts he has included with this book. This book is a must read and now you can buy this book on the internet and pay with your credit card.