John Milton Hay was an American statesman and official whose career began as a private secretary and assistant to Abraham Lincoln. However, Hay was also a talented writer and biographer. His literary work includes Pike County Ballads and Other Pieces and The Bread-Winners. Thanks to his skillfully guided diplomacy during the critical period in the USA, he became a famous and honorable politician. His further diplomatic work got particularly associated with the Open Door policy toward China and the preparations for the Panama Canal.
The novel «The Bread-Winners: A Social Study» was written as a reaction to several strikes that affected Hay's business interests and, as a result, provoked considerable public interest. The main hero – a former army captain Arthur Farnham, a well-off resident of Buffland - organizes Civil War veterans to keep the peace during the violent labor strike. The story keeps the reader's attention thanks to the exciting plot and talented narration of the author. Hay remains a fascinating historical figure, and reading this novel is an excellent insight into his view of the world!