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Spartacus

Spartacus (1951)

Novel: Spartacus ()
Published/Performed: 1951

Author: Howard Fast
Born: Nov 11, 1914 New York City, NY
Passed: Mar 12, 2003 Greenwich, CT

Film: Spartacus
Released: 1960

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About the Novel Spartacus:

Spartacus is a 1951 historical novel written by Howard Fast (November 11, 1914 ? March 12, 2003). It is about the historic slave revolt led by Spartacus around 71 BCE The book inspired the 1960 film directed by Stanley Kubrick and the 2004 TV adaptation by Robert Dornhelm.

Howard Fast self-published the novel in the United States during the McCarthy era in 1951. He began writing it as a reaction to his imprisonment for charges stemming from his earlier involvement in the Communist Party USA. He had refused to disclose to Congress the names of contributors to a fund for a home for orphans of American veterans of the Spanish Civil War. He was imprisoned for three months in 1950 for contempt of Congress.

By the standards of a self-published book, it was a great success, going through seven printings in the first four months of publication. (According to Fast in his memoir, 50,000 copies were printed, of which 48,000 were sold.) He subsequently established the Blue Heron Press, which allowed him to continue publishing under his own name throughout the period of his blacklisting (he was blacklisted by major publishing houses following his release from prison). Just as the production of the film version of ?Spartacus? (released in 1960) is considered a milestone in the breaking of the Hollywood blacklist, the reissue of Fast?s novel by Crown Publishers in 1958 effectively ended his own blacklisting within the American publishing industry.

The 1960 film Spartacus was directed by Stanley Kubrick and starred Kirk Douglas and Laurence Olivier. The film won four Oscars. Read article at Wikipedia


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