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The Nine-Tenths   By: (1882-1932)

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"The Nine-Tenths" by James Oppenheim is a thought-provoking novel that delves into the complex social issues of the early 20th century. Oppenheim's masterful storytelling and vivid characterization captivate readers, drawing them into a world filled with unimaginable struggles and resilience.

Set in an era of stark social inequality, the story follows the lives of ordinary working-class individuals battling against the oppressive reality of a society largely controlled by the wealthy one percent. The protagonist, Lucy, emerges as a strong and determined young woman who defies societal expectations and fights for justice in a system designed to keep her and her fellow workers oppressed.

Oppenheim effortlessly transports readers to the grimy and often dangerous world of labor strikes and worker exploitation. He skillfully paints a vivid picture of the dire conditions faced by those who toil relentlessly in factories, mines, and mills. The author's ability to convey the oppressive atmosphere heightens the tension throughout the novel, keeping readers on edge as they follow Lucy's perilous journey.

What sets "The Nine-Tenths" apart from other novels exploring similar themes is Oppenheim's focus on the power of unity and solidarity. Through Lucy's unwavering determination and the support she finds among her fellow workers, the book highlights the strength that can be derived from collective action. It showcases the transformative potential of individuals coming together to fight for their rights and challenge the status quo.

Oppenheim's prose is rich and evocative, often bordering on poetic. His descriptions are vivid and beautifully capture the emotions and physical surroundings of the characters. The author's portrayal of Lucy's struggles, her triumphs, and her internal conflicts is particularly moving, ensuring that readers develop a deep emotional connection to the central character.

If there is one flaw in "The Nine-Tenths," it is the occasional slow pacing that might test the patience of some readers. While Oppenheim's meticulous attention to detail adds depth to the narrative, it does slow down the progress of the story at times. However, this minor quibble is easily overshadowed by the overall impact and message conveyed by the book.

"The Nine-Tenths" is a powerful and timeless exploration of social injustice, the indomitable human spirit, and the transformative potential of collective action. James Oppenheim's ability to weave a compelling narrative with memorable characters sets this novel apart. It is a captivating read that will leave readers with a profound appreciation for the resilience of the human soul and a renewed dedication to fight for justice and equality.

First Page:

THE NINE TENTHS

BY JAMES OPPENHEIM 1911

TO THE MEMORY OF MY FATHER

CONTENTS

PART I THE DREAM

I. THE PRINTERY

II. THE EAST EIGHTY FIRST STREET FIRE

III. THE GOOD PEOPLE

IV. GOLDEN OCTOBER

V. MYRA AND JOE

VI. MARTY BRIGGS

VII. LAST OF JOE BLAINE AND HIS MEN

VIII. THE WIND IN THE OAKS

PART II THE TEST

I. BEGINNINGS

II. THE NINE TENTHS

III. OTHERS: AND SALLY HEFFER

IV. OTHERS: AND THEODORE MARRIN

V. FORTY FIVE TREACHEROUS MEN

VI. A FIGHT IN GOOD EARNEST

VII. OF THE THIRTY THOUSAND

VIII. THE ARREST

IX. RHONA

X. THE TRIAL

XI. THE WORKHOUSE

XII. CONFIDENT MORNING

XIII. THE CITY

PART I THE DREAM

I

THE PRINTERY

That windy autumn noon the young girls of the hat factory darted out of the loft building and came running back with cans of coffee, and bags of candy, and packages of sandwiches and cakes. They frisked hilariously before the wind, with flying hair and sparkling eyes, and crowded into the narrow entrance with the grimy pressmen of the eighth floor. Over and over again the one frail elevator was jammed with the laughing crowd and shot up to the hat factory on the ninth floor and back.

The men smoked cigarettes as the girls chattered and flirted with them, and the talk was fast and free... Continue reading book >>




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