Jack Conroy founded The Anvil in May, 1933. A laborer himself during the Great Depression, Conroy began publishing The Anvil, a magazine of fiction, as an outlet for the Midwestern farming and working community to express their opinions in the midst of stifling living conditions. Jack Conroy edited The Anvil out of his hometown in Moberly, Missouri, where economic and natural forces combined to punish the working classes severely.
The Anvil attracted the essentially forgotten voices of the 1930s: those
who had no relief and thus turned to communism. A strong leftist publication,
The Anvil and its editors did not take a definitive political stance,
but its contributors were strongly proletarian. Many glorified the Soviet
Union and advocated its extension into American through a communist party
and leftist society. Conroy did not propose a militant changeover, but
he did create a forum which in turn served as a strong propagandist outlet
for writers to advocate proletarian values. Though not every writer desired
a new Soviet Union in America, nearly every piece in The Anvil preached
the value of a leftist system in America.
The Anvil did not receive contributions from canonical authors (excluding a small number of prose pieces and poems by Langston Hughes). However, it did offer the working class of America a chance to speak their minds. The result was often technically crude, hence the magazine’s motto, “We prefer crude vigor to polished banality.” Louis Adamic captured the true purpose of The Anvil when he described Jack Conroy as "one of the leaders in the movement which aim[ed] to demonstrate ‘that the life of common workers and the stench of their sweat and toil are as authentic literary material as the vicissitudes of society.”
Last Update 12/04