"The Brother" tells of giant Thurs Wraldsons adventures after leaving college. Orphaned and penniless, he wanders over the country, Chicago, Cleveland, New York, looking for a home.
Determined to forget the arts, determined to control what has so far been for him a tragic power and to do something practical for his brother, the common man, he at last gets a job in a New Jersey factory. There working conditions and the plight of worker friends finds him involved in union organization and then in a strike.
Factory life does not satisfy him, however, and he soon moves on to New York City, where he takes a job in a warehouse and in his spare time takes up sketching and painting. Here he meets the intelligentsia of his time: artists, free lovers, liberals, renegades, parlor pinks, Marxists.
Thurs also makes new friends: among the men, lonesome Black Jack Hammer, the owner of the factory; fierce Fritz Blutschwert, the dogmatic Marxist; gentle Malcolm Makepeace, the practical Marxist; bitter-eyed Rex Kinst, the friendless huckster; moderist Pece Roche, the mixed up artist; among the women, tormented Rhoda Stuyvesant Hammer, the debutante who collected geniuses; mysterious Miss Sabine, the sculptress who collected male heads
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