The Bomb

by Frank Harris

Frank Harris' fictional account of the Haymarket Affair of 1886 focuses on Rudolph Schnaubelt, a German immigrant whose socialist background, discontent with his chosen country, and hatred for authority lead him to join the Chicago anarchists during the labor unrest of the 1880s. When strikes at the Pullman and McCormick plants and discontent among the stockyard employees and other workers throughout the city culminate in public demonstrations and riots which Chicago police attempt to control, it is Rudolph Schnaubelt who sets off a bomb killing eight policemen and injuring sixty people at a rally in Haymarket Square. The story is told in the first person, as seen through the eyes of Schnaubelt, who escapes to Bavaria where he watches closely the events which follow in the wake of his action. The Bomb is a depressing book on an ugly subject. Even an attempt by the author to relieve the demoralizing influence of the novel through the addition of a romantic sub-plot does little to alleviate the total starkness of the story and the writing. --Book Review Digest, 1909

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