Howard Fast was born on November 11, 1914 in Manhattan. At the age of 17, he sold his first story to Amazing Stories magazine. The next year he sold his first novel, Two Villages, to the Dial Press for a $100 advance. During his lifetime, he wrote more than 80 books, including Conceived in Liberty, The Unvanquished, Citizen Tom Paine, Freedom Road, April Morning, The Immigrants, Second Generation, The Establishment, The Legacy, and Greenwich. He won the Stalin International Peace Prize in 1953. A member of the Communist party, he served three months in a federal prison in 1950 for refusing to testify about his political activity. Blacklisted as a result, he founded his own publishing house, Blue Heron Press, which released his novel Spartacus in 1951. In 1957, he wrote a book about his political experiences entitled The Naked God. He also wrote a series of detective stories under the name E. V. Cunningham. He died on March 12, 2003 at the age of 88.