Dashiell Hammett, Red Harvest

Lee Horsley (Lancaster University)
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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 representative population and, in terms of the power structure, implicitly critiques…

766 words

Citation: Horsley, Lee. "Red Harvest". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 20 October 2001 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=2437, accessed 25 July 2024.]

2437 Red Harvest 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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