Saturday, July 24, 2010

Updates and Announcement from Fred Whitehead

Things are slow here in Norfolk and the Summer issue may be delayed until sometime in mid to late September due to the monstrous heat which is not only taking it's toll on your editor but which permeates our productive facility temporarily rendering it an unbearable oven. Thanks to the support we've received thus far, you can rest assured that the next issue's publication inevitable.

In the wider community of Progressive literature, the venerable Fred Whitehead of John Brown Press announces the publication of Emanuel ("Manny") Fried's memoir, MOST DANGEROUS MAN. Fred writes:

Emanuel(“Manny) Fried was born in 1913 and grew up in Buffalo, New York, where he worked in the grocery business, and as a bellhop, before deciding he wanted to be an actor. After formative experiences in New York City, he returned to Buffalo and for many years worked in factories.

He served in the U.S. Army during World War II, attaining the rank of Lieutenant. Following that, he became an organizer for various labor unions in Western New York State, representing 30,000 workers.

During the Great Depression, Manny joined the Communist Party, and continued to be a principled radical activist throughout the Cold War, defying the House Un-American Activities Committee, refusing outright to answer any questions whatsoever.

The dramatic experiences of those years supplied the raw materials for his plays, including The Dodo Bird, Drop Hammer, and Elegy for Stanley Gorski, as well as for his novels, including Big Ben Hood, and The Un-American.

The plays have been widely performed across the country, and most recently, Manny has produced a one-man play about his life, called Boilermakers and Martinis. This is now available on DVD.

Most Dangerous Man is a “personal memoir,” revealing details of Manny’s early years in a large, lively Jewish family; his period working as a bellhop when he first met prostitutes and other “non-respectable” people. Then it moves to his years in and around the world of theater, and its colorful personalities. Already much concerned for the stresses of conflict between social classes, he met, fell in love with, and married the daughter of a well-to-do Buffalo family, who own one of the swankiest hotels in town. The severe strain of trying to maintain a marriage and family during the height of the McCarthy years is powerfully related at length. The narrative thus becomes a story of survival, though not without a terrible personal cost.

Thus, in addition to being a chronicle of social life in mid-20th century show-business and industrial America, this book achieves a level of insight into how a person and his family could ride out political and personal repression. There are also numerous practical lessons of benefit to any citizen reader in our own time.

On Drop Hammer

“A fine play with something important to say about America. The continued failure of his own country to give Mr. Fried’s work the recognition it deserves is difficult for me to understand.” —Arnold Wesker, British playwright

“Manny Fried has caught much of the human drama of life inside the shop-level labor movement . . . A rarely-tapped source, both honest and entertaining.” —Len DeCaux, author of Labor Radical

“The most sensational book I have ever read. It will open your eyes as well as your ears. I consider it a classic.” —Patrick E. Gorman, Chairman of the Board, Almalgamated Meat Cutters and Butcher Workmen of North America, AFL-CIO

“Drop Hammer…exhibits the lives and problems of workingmen from their own level rather than from above. The talk of the workers, the presentation of their concerns and the disposal of their problems are represented in a solid and unfaked manner.” —Jack Conroy, Founding Editor, The Anvil, and Author, The Disinherited


$16.00 per copy (Plus $3.00 postage) to

P.O. BOX 5224