Richard Wright, Black Boy

Black Boy is routinely listed as Richard Wright’s autobiographical novel. But it’s important to realize that this work is not an autobiography or even a memoir: it is fiction. As such the author is free to use the elements of his life as grist for his fiction, but we should always read his story with the understanding that the events and characters in the novel may sometimes be manipulated for effect if they actually even occurred (emphasize: IF they are even remotely related to actual events).

Continue reading “Richard Wright, Black Boy”

The Difference Between America and Russia

JungleAn edition of Upton Sinclair’s novel The Jungle is available and even if you have read the book, get a copy of the complete edition and read it again. It seems that for years we have been cheated out of an even more horrifying story of the unregulated meat packing companies in Chicago in the early twentieth century. First, this edition is longer (about a third longer, I believe) and it presents a fuller and more devastating view of the struggles immigrants went through and an even uglier and more upsetting vision of the meat packing business. Who knew all those older copies of The Jungle were so heavily censored.

Thank goodness we have a Federal government which oversees things like meat packing and looks out for the health and well-being of the citizens. Just imagine what the combination of greed, corruption, and lack of regulations would be like: would it be like the Chicago depicted in The Jungle?

Continue reading “The Difference Between America and Russia”