New York City skyline at night




The Architecture of Servitude in Chicago
by Robert Klein Engler

At the end of Upton Sinclair's 1906 novel, The Jungle, his character Jurgis Rudkus listens to an orator at a socialist rally shout, "CHICAGO WILL BE OURS!" This ownership by the socialists never happened, neither in fiction nor in reality. What did happen, as a reviewer in the Atlantic Monthly claimed, is the book "spoilt the entire nation's appetite for its Sunday roast beef." Commenting on his own book, Upton Sinclair himself quipped, "I aimed at the public's heart, and by accident I hit it in the stomach."  Read Essay


The Left Bank Draws Those Going Against the Stream
by Patrick Henry

Extract from "The Visit South," a section in A LIFE AD-LIB (autobiography), Ariel Books, London, 2008.

In Paris it has always been much easier to reach the vital literary scene than in London, because in the latter it does not exist as a graspable entity. The prominent are too aloof to notice newcomers, and a class-driven insider suburban mentality pervades all. Based at the Left Bank's Shakespeare Bookshop, I soon met Ginsberg, and many other rebel poets, and read alongside them. The best event saw several Beat poets, and myself, in the audience of a hall where Voznesensky, the Russian dissenter poet read for two hours, no text, out of his head, and all we out of our minds with admiration. French translations were read out after each piece, to provide meaning, but the force of the lines of Russian brought to life, struck like symphonic music out of The Steppes.  Read Essay