Chapter

Commitment

Gerald Horne

in The Final Victim of the Blacklist

Published by University of California Press

Published in print September 2006 | ISBN: 9780520243729
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520939936 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520243729.003.0005
Commitment

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John Howard Lawson was torn apart with conflict and inner doubt, even though his life was driving inescapably to a resolution. Harold Clurman “watched with shock and anger” as Lawson was upbraided by Communists and leftists at a meeting of the radical John Reed Club. Though Clurman had become not only a staunch supporter but one of his severest critics, it was scathing criticism from another corner that pushed Lawson definitely and defiantly toward a more unbendable commitment. Organizing writers and sojourning in the South deepened his “conviction that commitment is essential to the artist's creative growth; what we call the sensibility of the artist is deadened if he does not respond generously to the human reality that surrounds him; to observe and report, to laugh or weep, are not enough.” Lawson was “fired” from MGM because of his union organizing. Still, he was “popular” as a union leader.

Keywords: John Howard Lawson; Harold Clurman; John Reed Club; Communists; leftists; commitment; MGM; union leader

Chapter.  8354 words. 

Subjects: History of the Americas

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