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Traven, B.

stories john born

(1882 or 1890?–1969)

B. Traven's identity was a closely guarded secret. He was probably either Ret Marut, born in Poland in 1882, or Berick Traven Torsvan, born in 1890 in Chicago. What is certain is that his stories first appeared in German in Berlin, that he spent his final years in Mexico, and left a legacy of novels and stories all concerned with the corrupting influence of money. His finest is The Death Ship (1926), about the wanderings of an American seaman with no papers or status after the First World War. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1927), his famous adventure story of fatal greed, was filmed in 1947 by John Huston, and The White Rose (1965) is about the ascendancy of profit over human lives after oil is found on a Mexican ranch. Traven had Marxist leanings and was banned by the Nazis as a Communist, but his work attacks power structures of all kinds.

Jack London, John Steinbeck  CB

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