The author’s second book
Chester Himes began writing in prison after being convicted of armed robbery at age nineteen. While many of his novels are now considered classics in the genre of black American protest literature, in their time Himes’s novels sold poorly, and received a tepid response from critics. Lonely Crusade is set in early 1940s California where union organizers try to unite defense workers, southerners and black. The protagonist, Lee Gordon, is an educated man, with a white mistress, who becomes a union organizer. As tensions between defense plant and unionizers heats up a murder is committed. Gordon is framed. Against the odds, Gordon is successful in rallying his fellow workers, is exonerated, and his wife, who had left him, comes back by his side.
Description: Lonely Crusade.
New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1947. 398pp. First Edition. Publisher’s cloth. Very good with a price-clipped dustwrapper which has chipped losses, mainly to rear panel and some soil to same, and a number of small interior tape mends, in protective mylar.
Ref. Metzger, Black Writers (1989).