Dashiell Hammett

Dashiell Hammett ebooks

Best known for his detective novels, American author Dashiell Hammett was born in 1894 in Maryland. Hammett grew up in Philadelphia and Baltimore, and left school at 13. He eventually began working for the Pinkerton National Detective Agency in 1915. The seven years he spent working for the company would inform many of his novels.

Hammett enlisted in the Army in 1918 and served in World War I. He contracted the Spanish flu and tuberculosis, so spent most of his service in a hospital. After this, he moved to San Francisco. Through the 1920s, he wrote a number of short stories. His first novel, Red Harvest, was published in 1929. The Dain Curse followed later in the same year, with The Maltese Falcon published in 1930 and The Glass Key published in 1931.

As a writer, Hammett’s career was short-lived. His final novel, The Thin Man, was published in 1934. His work continued to be published, but he was no longer writing additional pieces.

During World War II, Hammett again enlisted in the Army. Though he was kept out of combat for health reasons, he was able to work as an editor of an Army newspaper.

Hammett’s life had been devoted to left-wing activism after he finished The Thin Man. Having joined the Communist Party in the 1930s, he would be investigated, blacklisted, and imprisoned in the 1950s anti-Communist fervour. Hammett’s already frail health continued to decline through the 1950s. In 1961, Hammett died from lung cancer.


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