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The Final Victim of the BlacklistJohn Howard Lawson, Dean of the Hollywood Ten$
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Gerald Horne

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780520243729

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520243729.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 05 August 2021

Commitment

Commitment

Chapter:
(p.80) 5 Commitment
Source:
The Final Victim of the Blacklist
Author(s):

Gerald Horne

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520243729.003.0005

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

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