Preacher and the Slave


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STEGNER, Wallace. The Preacher and the Slave. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1950. Octavo, original orange cloth, original dust jacket.

First edition of Stegner's powerful biographical labor novel about union organizer Joe Hill.

"An extraordinary book, an exciting book… Stegner has chosen as his central character one of Labor's martyrs, 'Joe Hill'… A strange, illusive and fascinating personality, as Stegner has portrayed him, Swedish born, he came into Labor by roundabout ways, and found there his niche as an organizer. He had no gift for soapbox oratory; he won adherents instead through his songs, his cartoons, his undercover activities, his pervasive inspiration, for the cause of industrial organization became a flaming passion, a religion, fanatically adhered to… There are scenes in the jungles of the down and outers, in the doss houses, in the hiring halls; there's grim, crude ribaldry and tough talk, much of which will shock the thin-skinned. It's not a pretty story—nor intended to be, either in its broader sweep or its flashes of indictment of a capitalistic society that could allow the migrant camp conditions, the conditions along the water front, the mines, the factories. And yet the book is intensely personal and human" (Kirkus Reviews).

Book near-fine, with scattered discoloration spots mainly to spine. Dust jacket bright and near-fine, with light wear to extremities. A desirable copy.

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