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Alfred Maund is a tough-minded younger writer with a lot of verve and vibration. His first novel was Southern baroque; his second, The International, is full-bodied realism, a sort of ""Hucksters"" of the labor world. It lacks, however, the latter's best-seller savvy, and is neither slick nor particularly well-shaped. But author Maund's scenes are raw-boned, his prose has a pile-driver pace and his characters can sprawl and stump with the best. Basically built on the confrontation with power between two men, Wick Simmonds, the radical organizer-hero and John Gates, the old compromising union boss, International offers also other recognizable humans: Lydia, Gates' hard-bitten mistress and secretary: Julie, a whoring skirt who becomes a labor skate out of love of Wick; Daniel, a leader Wick deposed who later winds up his friend; and Lee, Wick's wife, who dies tragically in childbirth the night the men vote the Old Man out in favor of her husband. Overlong and overstated with too much back-room racketeering and Deep Delta contacts, contracts and conventions, the novel nevertheless whips up a storm of crackling dialogue, many good and earthy touches and a humdinger of a climax when Ku-Kluxers enter a strike. In short, a work of size and spirit which would have had much more of the same if trimmed in half.

Pub Date: Oct. 11th, 1961
Publisher: McGraw-Hill