Strike!


Fiction - Mystery - Historical
352 Pages
Reviewed on 06/07/2020
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

In the late 1950s, my family’s neighbor, upon hearing I was working on the hot beds of the Inland Steel mill, told me about a labor strike he was a part of at that same mill in 1922. I researched what he had told me and found that his strike was successful – indeed, famous – as a prototype protest that resulted in better working conditions and higher wages for the men who worked there. So while this is a fictional novel with fictional characters and a plot built in the dramatic narrative style, it is also a sincere tribute to the working people of this great nation who fought for the right to earn a decent living, for safer, more humane conditions in the workplace and for the dignity of working men and women, no matter the color of their skin, the religion of their choice, or the country and culture of their ancestors.
It has been a great experience for me to personally reach back and breathe the atmosphere of the richly textured social stew that was America a hundred years ago. It feels like the closest I’ll ever get to time travel. The research brought to light old and forgotten attitudes and ideas that amaze and even bewilder me – a shocking honesty, glorious passion and greed and bravery and forgiveness, brutal cruelty, an uncensored sense of humor and an overriding love of humanity.
John Michael Klawitter

    Book Review

Reviewed by Susan Sewell for Readers' Favorite

Settling a debt of family honor, a wealthy Italian World War I veteran journeys to America and becomes embroiled in a war between the employees and their corporation in the stunning historical mystery, Strike! by John Klawitter. After the Great War, Anthony Anselmo's grandfather charges him with the responsibility of remunerating the war widows whose husbands fought in their family sponsored military unit. The last one on Anthony's list lives near Chicago. Leaving behind his disapproving father and their family business, Anthony travels to America. However, feeling responsible for the death of the young soldier, he procrastinates in concluding his quest. To have something to do in the meantime, Anthony takes a job at the local steel mill for a mere eighteen cents an hour. Confounded by the strenuous labor and hazardous working conditions the employees endure, with so little compensation, Anthony joins his new friends and co-workers in a grim battle to bring about necessary changes. While the situation at the steel mill is intensifying, in Italy the Anselmo family is under siege, and someone is out for blood. Will the trouble follow Anthony across the ocean? Between the menacing unscrupulous strikebreakers and the assassin on his trail, can Anthony elude death and finally begin to live for himself?

Intrigue and mystery are at the heart of the brilliant novel Strike! by John Klawitter. Set in the 1920s, the engaging characters, intriguing storyline, and the complex and exciting plot create a spellbinding story. Beautifully written, the mystery is gradually revealed, teasing the reader along. Totally caught up in the drama of each character's life, I didn't want to miss a word; I couldn't put the book down until the very satisfying conclusion. I loved every aspect of the story but was especially fascinated by the historical facets of the plot. This riveting novel will delight those who enjoy intriguing mysteries depicting early twentieth-century industrial America.