John Howard Lawson's body had been “savagely attacked” by the ravages of time, which left him in ill humor. He died by August 1977. The posthumous assault on Lawson was of a piece with the continuing assault on writers—notably screenwriters—a process he had contributed exceedingly to combating. A major problem faced by screenwriters today is that the fighting union that Lawson had helped to build is today a shadow of its former self. The demise of Red Hollywood meant that Liberal Hollywood had to take the uncomfortable position of being the prime target of conservatives. The tragedy of John Howard Lawson and Red Hollywood alike was not only what befell him and his comrades but what befell the nation in which he was born, when he was deprived of the opportunity to comment on—and influence—his society, his roots, his country.
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