Dashiell Hammett: Red Harvest

(766 words)
  • Lee Horsley (Lancaster University)

Red Harvest, first called The Cleansing of Poisonville, was serialised in Black Mask between November 1927 and February 1928. Published in the following year by Alfred A. Knopf, it became Dashiell Hammett's first hard-boiled novel. Along with The Glass Key (1931) it is the most directly political of Hammett's novels; it is certainly the most violent and apocalyptic of his works, representing not remediable political-economic ills but a sense of deep-seated moral disorder. The Montana mining town in which the novel is set has an element of historical specificity, but Hammett also makes extensive use of the naming of the town, which is known by two names, both metaphoric. As “Personville” it suggests a …

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Horsley, Lee. "Red Harvest". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 20 October 2001
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=2437, accessed 28 September 2016.]

Related Groups

  1. Crime, Detective, Spy/ Thriller Fiction