The letters he wrote to fellow novelist Richard Wright as he started working on the novel provide evidence for his disillusion with and defection from the Communist Party. In a letter to Wright on August 18, 1945, Ellison poured out his anger toward party leaders for betraying African-American and Marxist class politics during the war years: "If they want to play ball with the bourgeoisie they needn't think they can get away with it... Maybe we can't smash the atom, but we can, with a few well-chosen, well-written words, smash all that crummy filth to hell."
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