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Howard Fast (1914 - 2003)

Howard Fast

Howard Fast was the son of a factory worker in the New York City.  He witnessed the extent of exploitation and miserable life of workers and their families at the young ages of his life.  At the age of 29, he joined the American Communist Party to struggle for the building of a just society.  In 1950, during the McCarthyism era, he was ordered to appear before the HOUSE OF UNAMERICAN ACTIVITIES COMMITTEE.  He refused to name fellow members of American Communist Party, claiming that the first Amendment of the U.S Constitution gave them the right to do this.  The HUAC and the courts, during appeals, disagreed and he was sentenced to three months in jail.  In 1956 the divulging of crimes during the Stalin era in the Soviet Union by Nikita Khrushchev (The prime minister of USSR at that time), and decision by the Soviet government to put down the Hungarian uprising, made him and three-quarters of the members to leave the party.  As a result, he truly believed that democracy and socialism are inseparable and building socialism is the art of the people, and can not be imposed from the outside.

He was faithful to his ideas and continued to write political novels.  Some of his famous works are:


  • Freedom Road (1944)

  • The American (1946)

  • Spartacus (1951)

  • Silas Timberman (1954)

  • The Outsider (1984)

  • The Immigrant’s Daughter (1985)


During his lifetime, Fast published more than 40 novels under his own name and 20 novels as E.V. Cunningham.

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