How would you interpret this phrase?
Harrison W. Shepherd is that twentieth-century phenomenon—the international Communist. He has vehemently shunned publicity, but thanks to a persistent campaign of public exposure his ties with Mexican Communists have lately come to light. His life has been obscure but hardly small, as thousands of Americans were drawn into his message, particularly the young and impressionable as his writings pressed their way even into children’s schoolrooms.
How would you interpret this phrase “thousands of Americans were drawn into his message”?
By the way, how would you interpret the adjective “small” in preceding phrase “His life has been obscure but hardly small”?
PS: The man called Harrison W. Shepherd was a novelist and kept communicating with his readers through letters.
Thanks. And this excerpt is taken from The Lacuna by Kingsolver.I guess the word “small” describes his social circle, right?