A lost, literary masterpiece, hailed as “alive with shocking vitality” by the Auburn Journal, is now back in print for the first time in over sixty years….
It’s 1959. Over the mills of the huge Craft Steel Company, the sky is ablaze, reflecting the white- hot heat of its open-hearth furnaces. The company and the town its workers live in are also a tinderbox, crackling with the tensions of an impending power struggle that will reshape their lives. The heavy guns of the Industrial Workers of America, a new labor organization, are opening fire on the old, corrupt, company-dominated union…and 10,000 steel workers are caught in the crossfire.
The battle pits Dudley Murdock, the young assistant superintendent who longs for change, against old Leo Novack, the tough mill boss who reigns over the workforce…and whose mistress, the editor of the factory newspaper, is physically in bed with him, but her sympathies lie with Dudley.
And towering over the multitude of men, churning in the torment of the dehumanizing forces of industry, is the monstrous presence of the mill itself, with its heat, filth and furnaces of boiling steel.
“His descriptions of steelmaking are breathtaking, capturing the color and clamor of open hearths in language so vivid and moving, that it often borders on poetry.” Buffalo Evening News
“A think-piece of considerable vitality.” Chicago Tribune
“A new voice that speaks with fresh creative force and factual authority.” Philadelphia Inquirer
This was the debut novel of William Dale Smith, an ex-steel worker and ex-Marine, who would later go on to write several acclaimed crime novels as “David Anthony,” one of which, The Midnight Lady and the Mourning Man, became the movieThe Midnight Man, co-directed, co-written, and starring Burt Lancaster.William Dale Smith / Historical, Literary Fiction