Iron City

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INSTONE, Samuel (1878 - 1937), Lieutenant of the City of London; Chairman S. Instone & Co., Ltd; Chairman Askern Coal and Iron Co., Ltd, and Bedwas Navigation Coal Co.; Director of Imperial Airways

EATON, Cyrus Stephen (1883 - 1979), industrialist and banker; Partner, Otis & Co., bankers; Organizer Republic Steel Corp. and United Light & Power Co.; Chairman Board of Directors: Chesapeake & Ohio Railway; Detroit Steel Corporation; Steep Rock Iron Mines Ltd; Director: Cleveland-Cliffs Iron Co.; Cleveland Electric Illuminating Co.; Kansas City Power & Light Co.; Sherwin-Williams Co.; Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Co

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PRYKE, William Robert (1847 - 1932), JP; Iron and Hardware merchant of 40 and 41 Upper Thames Street, EC, a Lieut of City of London, and a member of Lee Conservancy and Wanstead Urban District Council

HANNA, Marcus Alonzo (1837 - 1904), Chairman, National Republican Committee, from 1896; Senator, Ohio, USA, from 1897; head of M. A. Hanna & Co., coal and iron merchants; President, National Union Bank; Director, Cleveland City Railway Co.

GILCHRIST, Archibald (1877 - 1932), JP County of the City of Glasgow; MINA; MIES; MAmSoc. of Naval Engrs; MInstMet.; Chairman of Barclay, Curle and Co., Ltd, Glasgow; Director of Swan, Hunter and Wigham Richardson, Ltd, Wallsend-on-Tyne, the Glasgow Iron and Steel Co., Ltd, and the Whiteinch Galvanising Co., Ltd

Lewis, William Thomas (1837 - 1914), JP Cos Glamorgan, Monmouth, Brecon, Pembroke, and City of Cardiff; DL Glamorgan; President, University College of South Wales and Monmouthshire, 1911; member of Council of Civil Engineers; FGS; Vice-President of Iron and Steel Institute; Vice-President of Institute of Mechanical Engineers; Chairman of the Monmouth and South Wales Board of Examination for Mining Certificates

POLSON, Thomas Andrew (1865 - 1946), Chairman of Butlin’s Ltd, Duffield Iron Corporation, Ltd, James Walker, Goldsmith and Silversmith, Ltd; Pye Ltd and Rolls Razor Ltd; Director of Cairnton Trust and Finance Co. Ltd; MP (Ind) Dover, 1921–22; late Chief Inspector of Clothing, Royal Army Clothing Department (despatches); formerly Major Commanding A Squadron, City of London Yeomanry, Rough Riders; qualified Q Army List; commanded depôt of the regiment; lent to Air Ministry as personal assistant to late Lord Rothermere (First Secretary of State), and represented the Ministry on Army Agricultural Committee; served on Expenditure of Stores and Supplies Committee; Hon. Treasurer Anti-Waste League; Chairman and Chief Organizer United Empire Party


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A realist novel by Lloyd Brown, was published in 1951 and reprinted with a critical introduction in 1994. Iron City is based on Brown's experiences in Pittsburgh's Allegheny County Jail in 1941. In the novel, Paul Harper, Henry Faulcon, and Isaac L. (Zach) Zachary, three African American communist political prisoners, lead a campaign to free Lonnie James, a framed African American youth on death row. As Alan Wald points out in his critical introduction to the 1994 edition, Iron City is possibly the first African American prison novel, and probably the first novel to depict the activities of political prisoners in the United States.

In addition to the fight to save Lonnie James, both the inner world of the characters, and the “outside” world—an ironic term to use when talking of a prison novel—are strikingly portrayed. The action of Iron City may be confined to the jail, but through the telling of the life stories and testimonies of the three main characters, the novel is able to move from criticizing the racism and injustice in one American institution to a critique of the American capitalist system as a whole. Through the novel's use of autobiographical, biographical, and historical materials, the novel offers a critique of racist, oppressive capitalist America and offers communism as the answer to the American racial question.

Brown's novel was written in response to the tendency for African American writers of the 1940s and 1950s to create dark and negative portrayals of their people in such works as Richard Wright's Native Son (1940). Iron City was a conscious attempt to introduce positive working-class African American protagonists into African American literature.

Alan Wald, foreword to Iron City, 1994.

Karen Ruth Kornweibel.

Subjects: Literature.

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