Dashiell Hammett eBooks
Dashiell Hammett was an American author best known for his detective novels, including The Maltese Falcon and The Thin Man.
Hammett was born in 1894 in Maryland, and grew up in Philadelphia and Baltimore. He left school at 13 to go to work, eventually working for the Pinkerton National Detective Agency between 1915 and 1922. His work for the company, which became known for its union strike-breaking, would be the inspiration for much of his writing. He enlisted in the Army in 1918, serving in World War I, but spent most of his service in a Washington hospital due to the Spanish flu and tuberculosis.
Hammett settled in San Francisco and began writing in the 1920s. He wrote many short stories through the decade, and his first novel, Red Harvest, was published in 1929. This was followed by four other novels. His last novel, The Thin Man, was published in 1934. Though his work would continue to be published for decades, Hammett’s career as a writer was mostly finished by the end of the 1930s.
After his final novel in 1934, Hammett turned most of his attention to left-wing activism. He became a member of the Communist Party, for which he would be investigated during the 1950s. During World War II, Hammett once again enlisted in the Army. Despite his illness, he was able to work as an editor of an Army newspaper.
Hammett’s political beliefs resulted in him being blacklisted and, for a time, imprisoned. His health, already damaged by tuberculosis, alcoholism, and emphysema, continued to fail, and he died in 1961.