A Middle Western Legend
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Fast’s stunning reimagining of the life of John Peter Altgeld, a courageous politician and forgotten national hero
Though Abraham Lincoln is often considered the United States’ most legendary politician, he wasn’t the only country lawyer out of Illinois to change the face of the nation. John Peter Altgeld fought for Lincoln as a foot soldier in the Union Army, then followed in his footsteps from law to politics, eventually becoming governor of Illinois in 1896. Howard Fast’s dazzling fictional account of Altgeld’s life offers an inspirational example of a man who made great sacrifices for quintessentially American ideals. Inspired by Altgeld’s social reforms, such as his fight against the dehumanizing economic injustice of the Gilded Age and his trailblazing implementation of some of the nation’s first child labor laws, Fast celebrates the compelling life of an unsung American luminary.
This ebook features an illustrated biography of Howard Fast including rare photos from the author’s estate.
“The Fourth of July, when we celebrate our freedom, has made me want to urge my readers to become familiar with Howard Fast’s The American.” —Eleanor Roosevelt
Howard Fast (1914–2003) was one of the most prolific American writers of the twentieth century. He was a bestselling author of more than eighty works of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and screenplays. The son of immigrants, Fast grew up in New York City and published his first novel upon finishing high school in 1933. In 1950, his refusal to provide the United States Congress with a list of possible Communist associates earned him a three-month prison sentence. During his incarceration, Fast wrote one of his best-known novels, Spartacus (1951). Throughout his long career, Fast matched his commitment to championing social justice in his writing with a deft, lively storytelling style.