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Mickey Spillane: Crusader for Justice

Shoshana Milgram

Presented at: OCON 2022

Date: Jul 03, 2022

Mickey Spillane is one of the best-selling writers of all time, with estimated sales of 225 million copies. Mike Hammer, his most enduring hero, is a private detective who pursues justice with physical and moral courage. Mike uses his gun, his fists, and his mind to avenge the innocent, to destroy the evil, and to guard the good. Many reviewers dismissed or condemned Spillane’s writing; many readers, undeterred, have devoured the books anyway. Ayn Rand admired the Mike Hammer books and praised them publicly. This talk surveys the range of Spillane’s writing career (including his ideas for films starring his friend John Wayne), with emphasis on the voice and virtues of his crusading hero.

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