Labour History Review

The Historiography of American Communism: An Unsettled Field

Labour History Review (2003), 68, (1), 61–78.

Abstract

Scholarly treatment of American Communism began in the late 1950s and 1960s. The ‘traditionalists’ argued that the Communist Party, USA, was subordinate to the Soviet Union, possessed a totalitarian ideology, and had no legitimate place on the democratic left. In the 1970s and 1980s a wave of ‘revisionist’ scholars presented a benign view of American Communism as a progressive force, stressed locally-oriented social histories, placed the movement in the traditions of native American radicalism, and minimized the importance of Soviet ties. The opening of the Russian archives in the 1990s reinvigorated the traditionalist approach and inserted CPUSA cooperation with Soviet espionage into the debate. Today the field is unsettled and debate vigorous. Revisionists are on the defensive while traditionalists increasingly control the argument.

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J. E. Haynes, Communism and Anti-Communism in the United States. An Annotated Guide to Historical Writings, New York, Garland, 1987. Communism and Anti-Communism in the United States. An Annotated Guide to Historical Writings Google Scholar

The Fund for the Republic was a private foundation headed by the former president of the University of Chicago, Robert Hutchins. The books in the series are: T. Draper, The Roots of American Communism, New York, Viking Press, 1957; R. W. Iversen, The Communists and the Schools, New York, Harcourt, Brace, 1959; D. A. Shannon, The Decline of American Communism. A History of the Communist Party of the United States Since 1945, New York, Harcourt, Brace, 1959; T. Draper, American Communism and Soviet Russia, New York, Viking Press, 1960; C. L. Rossiter, Marxism. The View from America, New York, Harcourt, Brace, 1960; R. L. Roy, Communism and the Churches, New York, Harcourt, Brace, 1960; N. Glazer, The Social Basis of American Communism, New York, Harcourt, Brace, 1961; F. S. Meyer, The Moulding of Communists. The Training of the Communist Cadre, New York, Harcourt, Brace, 1961; D. Aaron, Writers on the Left. Episodes in American Literary Communism, New York, Harcourt, Brace and World, 1961; E. Latham, The Communist Controversy in Washington. From the New Deal to McCarthy, Cambridge, Mass., Harvard University Press, 1966. The Roots of American Communism Google Scholar

I. Howe and L. A. Coser, The American Communist Party. A Critical History, 1919-1957, Boston, Beacon Press, 1957. Also sharing the approach of the ‘Communism in American Life’ series was M. M. Kampelman, The Communist Party Vs. the CIO. A Study in Power Politics, New York, F. A. Praeger; 1957. The American Communist Party. A Critical History, 1919-1957 Google Scholar

M. Isserman, ‘Three generations: historians view American communism’, Labor History, 26, 4, 1985, pp. 539-40; M. Isserman, Which Side Were You On? The American Communist Party During the Second World War, Middletown, Conn., Wesleyan University Press, 1982. ‘Three generations: historians view American communism’ Labor History 26 539 40 Google Scholar

Again, most of the revisionist studies of Communists in the labour movement tend to avoid a broad perspective. One of the exceptions is H. A. Levenstein, Communism, Anti-Communism, and the CIO, Westport, Conn., Greenwood Press, 1981, the revisionist response to Kampelman, Communist Party Vs. the CIO and B. Cochran, Labor and Communism. The Conflict That Shaped American Unions, Princeton University Press, 1977. Communism, Anti-Communism, and the CIO Google Scholar

Draper, Roots, p. 395. Google Scholar

H. Klehr and J. E. Haynes, The American Communist Movement. Storming Heaven Itself, New York, Twayne, 1992, pp. 4, 179. The American Communist Movement. Storming Heaven Itself 4 Google Scholar

T. Draper, ‘Life of the party’, New York Review of Books, 13 January 1994. ‘Life of the party’ New York Review of Books Google Scholar

M. Denning, The Cultural Front. The Laboring of American Culture in the Twentieth Century, London and New York, Verso, 1997. The Cultural Front. The Laboring of American Culture in the Twentieth Century Google Scholar

P. Rachleff, ‘Understanding legacies, understanding possibilities’, Labor History, 39, 3, 1998, pp. 330-4; M. Denning, ‘The future of the cultural front’, Labor History, 39, 3, 1998, pp. 334-7. Waiting for Lefty was a Clifford Odets play of the era where the action takes place while the players and the audience await the return of a strike leader, ‘Lefty.’ ‘Understanding legacies, understanding possibilities’ Labor History 39 330 4 Google Scholar

J. R. Starobin, American Communism in Crisis, 1943-1957, Cambridge, Mass., Harvard University Press, 1972. American Communism in Crisis, 1943-1957 Google Scholar

H. Klehr, The Heyday of American Communism. The Depression Decade, New York, Basic Books, 1984. Other traditionalist studies from the 1970s and 1980s include: H. Klehr, Communist Cadre. The Social Background of the American Communist Party Elite, Stanford, Ca., Hoover Institution Press, 1978; L. K. Dyson, Red Harvest. The Communist Party and American Farmers, Lincoln, University of Nebraska Press, 1982; A. S. Kraditor, ‘Jimmy Higgins’. The Mental World of the American Rank-and-File Communist, 1930-1958, New York, Greenwood Press, 1988; J. E. Haynes, Dubious Alliance. The Making of Minnesota's DFL Party, Minneapolis, University of Minnesota Press, 1984. The Heyday of American Communism. The Depression Decade Google Scholar

T. Draper, ‘American communism revisited’, New York Review of Books, 9 May 1985; T. Draper, ‘The popular front revisited’, New York Review of Books, 30 May 1985. For another critique of revisionism from a left-wing, anti-Stalinist viewpoint, see J. Jacobson, ‘The Soviet Union is dead, the "Russian question" remains: Part 1: The Communist Party — myth and reality’, New Politics, 5, 2 (n.s.) 1995, http://www.wpunj.edu/newpol/issue18/jacobs18.htm. http://www.wpunj.edu/newpol/issue18/jacobs18.htm ‘American communism revisited’ New York Review of Books Google Scholar

M. E. Brown, ‘Introduction: the history of the history of U.S. communism’, in M. E. Brown, R. Martin, F. Rosengarten and G. Snedeker (eds), New Studies in the Politics and Culture of U.S. Communism, New York, Monthly Review Press, 1993, pp. 21, 28, 31. Other authors in this volume included Rosalyn Baxandall, John Gerassi, Marvin Gettleman, Gerald Horne, Roger Keeran, Mark Naison, Stephen Leberstein, Ellen Schrecker, Annette Rubinstein, Alan Wald and Anders Stephanson. Keeran is best known for a major revisionist work on trade union history, R. Keeran, The Communist Party and the Auto Workers’ Unions, Bloomington, Indiana University Press, 1980. Wald, who has a Trotskyist orientation, later disassociated himself from what he termed Brown's ‘oddball opinions’ and suggested that few revisionists shared Brown's views. See A. M. Wald, ‘Search for a method: recent histories of American communism’, Radical History Review, 61, 1995, p. 173, n. 10. New Studies in the Politics and Culture of U.S. Communism 21 Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

Isserman's own Which Side Are You On? is one of the few party-centred studies, and it focuses on the six-year period from late 1939 to 1946 with only brief summaries for the pre- and post-war periods. Google Scholar

The two traditionalist, one-volume studies are: Howe and Coser, The American Communist Party and Klehr and Haynes, The American Communist Movement. Google Scholar

F. M. Ottanelli, The Communist Party of the United States. From the Depression to World War II, New Brunswick, Rutgers University Press, 1991, pp. 4, 213. The Communist Party of the United States. From the Depression to World War II 4 Google Scholar

New York Times, 24 August 1939; Daily Worker, 23 August 1939. Google Scholar

Browder report to CPUSA national committee, quoted in Daily Worker, 5 September 1939. Google Scholar

Ottanelli, The Communist Party of the United States, p. 194. Google Scholar

N. Markowitz, ‘The new Cold-War "scholarship"’, Political Affairs, 62, 1983, pp. 27-38; N. D. Markowitz, The Rise and Fall of the People's Century. Henry A. Wallace and American Liberalism, 1941-1948, New York, Free Press, 1973. ‘The new Cold-War "scholarship"’ Political Affairs 62 27 38 Google Scholar

M. Naison, Communists in Harlem During the Depression, Urbana, University of Illinois Press, 1983. Communists in Harlem During the Depression Google Scholar

G. Horne, ‘Communists in Harlem during the Depression’, Political Affairs, 63, 1984, pp. 36-8. Home's major works include: G. Horne, Black and Red. W. E. B. Du Bois and the Afro-American Response to the Cold War, 1944-1963, Albany, N.Y., State University of New York Press, 1986; G. Horne, Communist Front? The Civil Rights Congress, 1946-1956, Rutherford, N.J. and London, Fairleigh Dickinson University Press and Associated University Presses, 1988; and G. Horne, Black Liberation/Red Scare. Ben Davis and the Communist Party, Newark, Del., University of Delaware Press, 1993. ‘Communists in Harlem during the Depression’ Political Affairs 63 36 8 Google Scholar

P. Lyons, Philadelphia Communists, 1936-1956, Philadelphia, Temple University Press, 1982, pp. 18, 238. Philadelphia Communists, 1936-1956 18 Google Scholar

E. Schrecker, Many Are the Crimes. McCarthyism in America, Boston, Little, Brown, 1998, p. xviii. Many Are the Crimes. McCarthyism in America xviii Google Scholar

N. Markowitz MARKOWIT@cac-fas1.rutgers.edu, ‘FDR and socialism,’ 14 November 2001, in H-1918-45, archived at www2.h-net.msu.edu/lists/ Google Scholar

A. Wald, ‘Communist writers fight back in Cold War America’, in P. Goldstein (ed.), Styles of Cultural Activism. From Theory and Pedagogy to Women, Indians, and Communism, Cranbury, NJ, University of Delaware Press and Associated University Presses, 1994. Wald's works include A. M. Wald, Writing from the Left. New Essays on Radical Culture and Politics, London and New York, Verso, 1994; A. M. Wald, The New York Intellectuals. The Rise and Decline of the Anti-Stalinist Left from the 1930s to the 1980s, Chapel Hill, University of North Carolina Press, 1987; A. M. Wald, Exiles from a Future Time. The Forging of the Mid-Twentieth-Century Literary Left, Chapel Hill. University of North Carolina Press, 2002. Styles of Cultural Activism. From Theory and Pedagogy to Women, Indians, and Communism Google Scholar

R. D. G. Kelley, Hammer and Hoe. Alabama Communists During the Great Depression, Chapel Hill, University of North Carolina Press, 1990; R. D. G. Kelley, Race Rebels. Culture, Politics, and the Black Working Class, New York and Toronto, Free Press and Maxwell Macmillan, 1994. Hammer and Hoe. Alabama Communists During the Great Depression Google Scholar

R. Neumann, ‘The empire strikes back’, Village Voice, 3-9 October 2001 http://www.villagevoice.com/issues/0140/neumann.php Google Scholar

H. Klehr, J. E. Haynes and F. I. Firsov, The Secret World of American Communism, New Haven, Yale University Press, 1995; H. Klehr, J. E. Haynes and K. M. Anderson, The Soviet World of American Communism, New Haven, Yale University Press, 1998; J. E. Haynes and H. Klehr, Venona. Decoding Soviet Espionage in America, New Haven, Yale University Press, 1999; J. E. Haynes, Red Scare or Red Menace? American Communism and Anticommunism in the Cold War Era, Chicago, Ivan R. Dee, 1996. The Secret World of American Communism Google Scholar

A. Weinstein and A. Vassiliev, The Haunted Wood. Soviet Espionage in America — the Stalin Era, New York, Random House, 1999. The Haunted Wood. Soviet Espionage in America — the Stalin Era Google Scholar

M. Isserman, ‘They led two lives,’ New York Times Book Review, 9 May 1999. ‘They led two lives,’ New York Times Book Review Google Scholar

J. Ryan, ‘Earl Browder and American communism at high time: 1934-1945’, PhD thesis, University of Notre Dame, 1981; J. G. Ryan, Earl Browder. The Failure of American Communism, Tuscaloosa, Ala., University of Alabama Press, 1997, p. xi. Google Scholar

V. Pedersen, ‘Riding the wave: the Indiana Communist Party, 1929-1934’, MA thesis, Indiana State University, 1987; V. L. Pedersen, The Communist Party in Maryland, 1919-57, Urbana and Chicago, University of Illinois Press, 2001, p. 3. Google Scholar

M. Isserman, ‘Notes from underground’, Nation, 12 June 1995. ‘Notes from underground’ Nation Google Scholar

E. Schrecker, ‘Post-Cold War triumphalism and historical revisionism’, conference presentation, American Historical Association, Boston, 2001. Radosh, a former young Communist and New Leftist activist, particularly irritates revisionists. His major works include: R. Radosh and J. Milton, The Rosenberg File. A Search for the Truth, New York, Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, 1983; H. Klehr and R. Radosh, The Amerasia Spy Case. Prelude to McCarthyism, Chapel Hill, University of North Carolina Press, 1996; R. Radosh, M. R. Habeck, and G. N. Sevostianov, Spain Betrayed. The Soviet Union in the Spanish Civil War, New Haven, Yale University Press, 2001. Google Scholar

E. P. Johanningsmeier, Forging American Communism. The Life of William Z. Foster, Princeton University Press, 1994, pp. 6-7. Forging American Communism. The Life of William Z. Foster 6 7 Google Scholar

Johanningsmeier, Forging American Communism, pp. 284, 307. Google Scholar

J. R. Barrett, William Z. Foster and the Tragedy of American Radicalism, Urbana, University of Illinois Press, 1999, pp. 4-5. William Z. Foster and the Tragedy of American Radicalism 4 5 Google Scholar

M. Solomon, ‘Red and black: negroes and communism, 1929-1932’, PhD thesis, Harvard University, 1972, published as M. I. Solomon, Red and Black. Communism and Afro-Americans, 1929-1935, New York, Garland, 1988. The quotation is from the latter's preface. Google Scholar

M. I. Solomon, The Cry Was Unity. Communists and African Americans, 1917-36, Jackson, University Press of Mississippi, 1998, pp. xxiii-xxiv. The Cry Was Unity. Communists and African Americans, 1917-36 xxiii xxiv Google Scholar

Schrecker, Many Are the Crimes, p. x. Her other works include: E. Schrecker, No Ivory Tower. McCarthyism and the Universities, Oxford University Press, 1986, and E. Schrecker, The Age of McCarthyism. A Brief History with Documents, Boston, Bedford Books of St. Martin's Press, 1994. Google Scholar

Schrecker, ‘Post-Cold War triumphalism’; E. Schrecker and M. Isserman, ‘The Right's Cold War revision: current espionage fears have given new life to liberal anticommunism’, Nation, 24 July 2000. Google Scholar

D. Caute, The Great Fear. The Anti-Communist Purge Under Truman and Eisenhower, New York, Simon and Schuster, 1977, p. 54. The Great Fear. The Anti-Communist Purge Under Truman and Eisenhower 54 Google Scholar

Schrecker, Many Are the Crimes, pp. 5-6, 10, 18, 22, 36, 166. Google Scholar

Schrecker, Many Are the Crimes, pp. 178-9, 181. Google Scholar

Schrecker, Many Are the Crimes, pp. xviii, 46, 178-9. Google Scholar

Schrecker, Many Are the Crimes, pp. x, xii, 75-6. Many Are the Crimes x Google Scholar

Schrecker, Many Are the Crimes, pp. 375-6, 381, 399, 402. Many Are the Crimes 375 6 Google Scholar

See http://www.tandf.co.uk/journals/routledge/14743892.html Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

J. E. Haynes, Communism and Anti-Communism in the United States. An Annotated Guide to Historical Writings, New York, Garland, 1987. Communism and Anti-Communism in the United States. An Annotated Guide to Historical Writings Google Scholar

The Fund for the Republic was a private foundation headed by the former president of the University of Chicago, Robert Hutchins. The books in the series are: T. Draper, The Roots of American Communism, New York, Viking Press, 1957; R. W. Iversen, The Communists and the Schools, New York, Harcourt, Brace, 1959; D. A. Shannon, The Decline of American Communism. A History of the Communist Party of the United States Since 1945, New York, Harcourt, Brace, 1959; T. Draper, American Communism and Soviet Russia, New York, Viking Press, 1960; C. L. Rossiter, Marxism. The View from America, New York, Harcourt, Brace, 1960; R. L. Roy, Communism and the Churches, New York, Harcourt, Brace, 1960; N. Glazer, The Social Basis of American Communism, New York, Harcourt, Brace, 1961; F. S. Meyer, The Moulding of Communists. The Training of the Communist Cadre, New York, Harcourt, Brace, 1961; D. Aaron, Writers on the Left. Episodes in American Literary Communism, New York, Harcourt, Brace and World, 1961; E. Latham, The Communist Controversy in Washington. From the New Deal to McCarthy, Cambridge, Mass., Harvard University Press, 1966. The Roots of American Communism Google Scholar

I. Howe and L. A. Coser, The American Communist Party. A Critical History, 1919-1957, Boston, Beacon Press, 1957. Also sharing the approach of the ‘Communism in American Life’ series was M. M. Kampelman, The Communist Party Vs. the CIO. A Study in Power Politics, New York, F. A. Praeger; 1957. The American Communist Party. A Critical History, 1919-1957 Google Scholar

M. Isserman, ‘Three generations: historians view American communism’, Labor History, 26, 4, 1985, pp. 539-40; M. Isserman, Which Side Were You On? The American Communist Party During the Second World War, Middletown, Conn., Wesleyan University Press, 1982. ‘Three generations: historians view American communism’ Labor History 26 539 40 Google Scholar

Again, most of the revisionist studies of Communists in the labour movement tend to avoid a broad perspective. One of the exceptions is H. A. Levenstein, Communism, Anti-Communism, and the CIO, Westport, Conn., Greenwood Press, 1981, the revisionist response to Kampelman, Communist Party Vs. the CIO and B. Cochran, Labor and Communism. The Conflict That Shaped American Unions, Princeton University Press, 1977. Communism, Anti-Communism, and the CIO Google Scholar

Draper, Roots, p. 395. Google Scholar

H. Klehr and J. E. Haynes, The American Communist Movement. Storming Heaven Itself, New York, Twayne, 1992, pp. 4, 179. The American Communist Movement. Storming Heaven Itself 4 Google Scholar

T. Draper, ‘Life of the party’, New York Review of Books, 13 January 1994. ‘Life of the party’ New York Review of Books Google Scholar

M. Denning, The Cultural Front. The Laboring of American Culture in the Twentieth Century, London and New York, Verso, 1997. The Cultural Front. The Laboring of American Culture in the Twentieth Century Google Scholar

P. Rachleff, ‘Understanding legacies, understanding possibilities’, Labor History, 39, 3, 1998, pp. 330-4; M. Denning, ‘The future of the cultural front’, Labor History, 39, 3, 1998, pp. 334-7. Waiting for Lefty was a Clifford Odets play of the era where the action takes place while the players and the audience await the return of a strike leader, ‘Lefty.’ ‘Understanding legacies, understanding possibilities’ Labor History 39 330 4 Google Scholar

J. R. Starobin, American Communism in Crisis, 1943-1957, Cambridge, Mass., Harvard University Press, 1972. American Communism in Crisis, 1943-1957 Google Scholar

H. Klehr, The Heyday of American Communism. The Depression Decade, New York, Basic Books, 1984. Other traditionalist studies from the 1970s and 1980s include: H. Klehr, Communist Cadre. The Social Background of the American Communist Party Elite, Stanford, Ca., Hoover Institution Press, 1978; L. K. Dyson, Red Harvest. The Communist Party and American Farmers, Lincoln, University of Nebraska Press, 1982; A. S. Kraditor, ‘Jimmy Higgins’. The Mental World of the American Rank-and-File Communist, 1930-1958, New York, Greenwood Press, 1988; J. E. Haynes, Dubious Alliance. The Making of Minnesota's DFL Party, Minneapolis, University of Minnesota Press, 1984. The Heyday of American Communism. The Depression Decade Google Scholar

T. Draper, ‘American communism revisited’, New York Review of Books, 9 May 1985; T. Draper, ‘The popular front revisited’, New York Review of Books, 30 May 1985. For another critique of revisionism from a left-wing, anti-Stalinist viewpoint, see J. Jacobson, ‘The Soviet Union is dead, the "Russian question" remains: Part 1: The Communist Party — myth and reality’, New Politics, 5, 2 (n.s.) 1995, http://www.wpunj.edu/newpol/issue18/jacobs18.htm. http://www.wpunj.edu/newpol/issue18/jacobs18.htm ‘American communism revisited’ New York Review of Books Google Scholar

M. E. Brown, ‘Introduction: the history of the history of U.S. communism’, in M. E. Brown, R. Martin, F. Rosengarten and G. Snedeker (eds), New Studies in the Politics and Culture of U.S. Communism, New York, Monthly Review Press, 1993, pp. 21, 28, 31. Other authors in this volume included Rosalyn Baxandall, John Gerassi, Marvin Gettleman, Gerald Horne, Roger Keeran, Mark Naison, Stephen Leberstein, Ellen Schrecker, Annette Rubinstein, Alan Wald and Anders Stephanson. Keeran is best known for a major revisionist work on trade union history, R. Keeran, The Communist Party and the Auto Workers’ Unions, Bloomington, Indiana University Press, 1980. Wald, who has a Trotskyist orientation, later disassociated himself from what he termed Brown's ‘oddball opinions’ and suggested that few revisionists shared Brown's views. See A. M. Wald, ‘Search for a method: recent histories of American communism’, Radical History Review, 61, 1995, p. 173, n. 10. New Studies in the Politics and Culture of U.S. Communism 21 Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

Isserman's own Which Side Are You On? is one of the few party-centred studies, and it focuses on the six-year period from late 1939 to 1946 with only brief summaries for the pre- and post-war periods. Google Scholar

The two traditionalist, one-volume studies are: Howe and Coser, The American Communist Party and Klehr and Haynes, The American Communist Movement. Google Scholar

F. M. Ottanelli, The Communist Party of the United States. From the Depression to World War II, New Brunswick, Rutgers University Press, 1991, pp. 4, 213. The Communist Party of the United States. From the Depression to World War II 4 Google Scholar

New York Times, 24 August 1939; Daily Worker, 23 August 1939. Google Scholar

Browder report to CPUSA national committee, quoted in Daily Worker, 5 September 1939. Google Scholar

Ottanelli, The Communist Party of the United States, p. 194. Google Scholar

N. Markowitz, ‘The new Cold-War "scholarship"’, Political Affairs, 62, 1983, pp. 27-38; N. D. Markowitz, The Rise and Fall of the People's Century. Henry A. Wallace and American Liberalism, 1941-1948, New York, Free Press, 1973. ‘The new Cold-War "scholarship"’ Political Affairs 62 27 38 Google Scholar

M. Naison, Communists in Harlem During the Depression, Urbana, University of Illinois Press, 1983. Communists in Harlem During the Depression Google Scholar

G. Horne, ‘Communists in Harlem during the Depression’, Political Affairs, 63, 1984, pp. 36-8. Home's major works include: G. Horne, Black and Red. W. E. B. Du Bois and the Afro-American Response to the Cold War, 1944-1963, Albany, N.Y., State University of New York Press, 1986; G. Horne, Communist Front? The Civil Rights Congress, 1946-1956, Rutherford, N.J. and London, Fairleigh Dickinson University Press and Associated University Presses, 1988; and G. Horne, Black Liberation/Red Scare. Ben Davis and the Communist Party, Newark, Del., University of Delaware Press, 1993. ‘Communists in Harlem during the Depression’ Political Affairs 63 36 8 Google Scholar

P. Lyons, Philadelphia Communists, 1936-1956, Philadelphia, Temple University Press, 1982, pp. 18, 238. Philadelphia Communists, 1936-1956 18 Google Scholar

E. Schrecker, Many Are the Crimes. McCarthyism in America, Boston, Little, Brown, 1998, p. xviii. Many Are the Crimes. McCarthyism in America xviii Google Scholar

N. Markowitz MARKOWIT@cac-fas1.rutgers.edu, ‘FDR and socialism,’ 14 November 2001, in H-1918-45, archived at www2.h-net.msu.edu/lists/ Google Scholar

A. Wald, ‘Communist writers fight back in Cold War America’, in P. Goldstein (ed.), Styles of Cultural Activism. From Theory and Pedagogy to Women, Indians, and Communism, Cranbury, NJ, University of Delaware Press and Associated University Presses, 1994. Wald's works include A. M. Wald, Writing from the Left. New Essays on Radical Culture and Politics, London and New York, Verso, 1994; A. M. Wald, The New York Intellectuals. The Rise and Decline of the Anti-Stalinist Left from the 1930s to the 1980s, Chapel Hill, University of North Carolina Press, 1987; A. M. Wald, Exiles from a Future Time. The Forging of the Mid-Twentieth-Century Literary Left, Chapel Hill. University of North Carolina Press, 2002. Styles of Cultural Activism. From Theory and Pedagogy to Women, Indians, and Communism Google Scholar

R. D. G. Kelley, Hammer and Hoe. Alabama Communists During the Great Depression, Chapel Hill, University of North Carolina Press, 1990; R. D. G. Kelley, Race Rebels. Culture, Politics, and the Black Working Class, New York and Toronto, Free Press and Maxwell Macmillan, 1994. Hammer and Hoe. Alabama Communists During the Great Depression Google Scholar

R. Neumann, ‘The empire strikes back’, Village Voice, 3-9 October 2001 http://www.villagevoice.com/issues/0140/neumann.php Google Scholar

H. Klehr, J. E. Haynes and F. I. Firsov, The Secret World of American Communism, New Haven, Yale University Press, 1995; H. Klehr, J. E. Haynes and K. M. Anderson, The Soviet World of American Communism, New Haven, Yale University Press, 1998; J. E. Haynes and H. Klehr, Venona. Decoding Soviet Espionage in America, New Haven, Yale University Press, 1999; J. E. Haynes, Red Scare or Red Menace? American Communism and Anticommunism in the Cold War Era, Chicago, Ivan R. Dee, 1996. The Secret World of American Communism Google Scholar

A. Weinstein and A. Vassiliev, The Haunted Wood. Soviet Espionage in America — the Stalin Era, New York, Random House, 1999. The Haunted Wood. Soviet Espionage in America — the Stalin Era Google Scholar

M. Isserman, ‘They led two lives,’ New York Times Book Review, 9 May 1999. ‘They led two lives,’ New York Times Book Review Google Scholar

J. Ryan, ‘Earl Browder and American communism at high time: 1934-1945’, PhD thesis, University of Notre Dame, 1981; J. G. Ryan, Earl Browder. The Failure of American Communism, Tuscaloosa, Ala., University of Alabama Press, 1997, p. xi. Google Scholar

V. Pedersen, ‘Riding the wave: the Indiana Communist Party, 1929-1934’, MA thesis, Indiana State University, 1987; V. L. Pedersen, The Communist Party in Maryland, 1919-57, Urbana and Chicago, University of Illinois Press, 2001, p. 3. Google Scholar

M. Isserman, ‘Notes from underground’, Nation, 12 June 1995. ‘Notes from underground’ Nation Google Scholar

E. Schrecker, ‘Post-Cold War triumphalism and historical revisionism’, conference presentation, American Historical Association, Boston, 2001. Radosh, a former young Communist and New Leftist activist, particularly irritates revisionists. His major works include: R. Radosh and J. Milton, The Rosenberg File. A Search for the Truth, New York, Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, 1983; H. Klehr and R. Radosh, The Amerasia Spy Case. Prelude to McCarthyism, Chapel Hill, University of North Carolina Press, 1996; R. Radosh, M. R. Habeck, and G. N. Sevostianov, Spain Betrayed. The Soviet Union in the Spanish Civil War, New Haven, Yale University Press, 2001. Google Scholar

E. P. Johanningsmeier, Forging American Communism. The Life of William Z. Foster, Princeton University Press, 1994, pp. 6-7. Forging American Communism. The Life of William Z. Foster 6 7 Google Scholar

Johanningsmeier, Forging American Communism, pp. 284, 307. Google Scholar

J. R. Barrett, William Z. Foster and the Tragedy of American Radicalism, Urbana, University of Illinois Press, 1999, pp. 4-5. William Z. Foster and the Tragedy of American Radicalism 4 5 Google Scholar

M. Solomon, ‘Red and black: negroes and communism, 1929-1932’, PhD thesis, Harvard University, 1972, published as M. I. Solomon, Red and Black. Communism and Afro-Americans, 1929-1935, New York, Garland, 1988. The quotation is from the latter's preface. Google Scholar

M. I. Solomon, The Cry Was Unity. Communists and African Americans, 1917-36, Jackson, University Press of Mississippi, 1998, pp. xxiii-xxiv. The Cry Was Unity. Communists and African Americans, 1917-36 xxiii xxiv Google Scholar

Schrecker, Many Are the Crimes, p. x. Her other works include: E. Schrecker, No Ivory Tower. McCarthyism and the Universities, Oxford University Press, 1986, and E. Schrecker, The Age of McCarthyism. A Brief History with Documents, Boston, Bedford Books of St. Martin's Press, 1994. Google Scholar

Schrecker, ‘Post-Cold War triumphalism’; E. Schrecker and M. Isserman, ‘The Right's Cold War revision: current espionage fears have given new life to liberal anticommunism’, Nation, 24 July 2000. Google Scholar

D. Caute, The Great Fear. The Anti-Communist Purge Under Truman and Eisenhower, New York, Simon and Schuster, 1977, p. 54. The Great Fear. The Anti-Communist Purge Under Truman and Eisenhower 54 Google Scholar

Schrecker, Many Are the Crimes, pp. 5-6, 10, 18, 22, 36, 166. Google Scholar

Schrecker, Many Are the Crimes, pp. 178-9, 181. Google Scholar

Schrecker, Many Are the Crimes, pp. xviii, 46, 178-9. Google Scholar

Schrecker, Many Are the Crimes, pp. x, xii, 75-6. Many Are the Crimes x Google Scholar

Schrecker, Many Are the Crimes, pp. 375-6, 381, 399, 402. Many Are the Crimes 375 6 Google Scholar

See http://www.tandf.co.uk/journals/routledge/14743892.html Google Scholar

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J. E. Haynes, Communism and Anti-Communism in the United States. An Annotated Guide to Historical Writings, New York, Garland, 1987. Communism and Anti-Communism in the United States. An Annotated Guide to Historical Writings Google Scholar

The Fund for the Republic was a private foundation headed by the former president of the University of Chicago, Robert Hutchins. The books in the series are: T. Draper, The Roots of American Communism, New York, Viking Press, 1957; R. W. Iversen, The Communists and the Schools, New York, Harcourt, Brace, 1959; D. A. Shannon, The Decline of American Communism. A History of the Communist Party of the United States Since 1945, New York, Harcourt, Brace, 1959; T. Draper, American Communism and Soviet Russia, New York, Viking Press, 1960; C. L. Rossiter, Marxism. The View from America, New York, Harcourt, Brace, 1960; R. L. Roy, Communism and the Churches, New York, Harcourt, Brace, 1960; N. Glazer, The Social Basis of American Communism, New York, Harcourt, Brace, 1961; F. S. Meyer, The Moulding of Communists. The Training of the Communist Cadre, New York, Harcourt, Brace, 1961; D. Aaron, Writers on the Left. Episodes in American Literary Communism, New York, Harcourt, Brace and World, 1961; E. Latham, The Communist Controversy in Washington. From the New Deal to McCarthy, Cambridge, Mass., Harvard University Press, 1966. The Roots of American Communism Google Scholar

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Again, most of the revisionist studies of Communists in the labour movement tend to avoid a broad perspective. One of the exceptions is H. A. Levenstein, Communism, Anti-Communism, and the CIO, Westport, Conn., Greenwood Press, 1981, the revisionist response to Kampelman, Communist Party Vs. the CIO and B. Cochran, Labor and Communism. The Conflict That Shaped American Unions, Princeton University Press, 1977. Communism, Anti-Communism, and the CIO Google Scholar

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H. Klehr and J. E. Haynes, The American Communist Movement. Storming Heaven Itself, New York, Twayne, 1992, pp. 4, 179. The American Communist Movement. Storming Heaven Itself 4 Google Scholar

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H. Klehr, The Heyday of American Communism. The Depression Decade, New York, Basic Books, 1984. Other traditionalist studies from the 1970s and 1980s include: H. Klehr, Communist Cadre. The Social Background of the American Communist Party Elite, Stanford, Ca., Hoover Institution Press, 1978; L. K. Dyson, Red Harvest. The Communist Party and American Farmers, Lincoln, University of Nebraska Press, 1982; A. S. Kraditor, ‘Jimmy Higgins’. The Mental World of the American Rank-and-File Communist, 1930-1958, New York, Greenwood Press, 1988; J. E. Haynes, Dubious Alliance. The Making of Minnesota's DFL Party, Minneapolis, University of Minnesota Press, 1984. The Heyday of American Communism. The Depression Decade Google Scholar

T. Draper, ‘American communism revisited’, New York Review of Books, 9 May 1985; T. Draper, ‘The popular front revisited’, New York Review of Books, 30 May 1985. For another critique of revisionism from a left-wing, anti-Stalinist viewpoint, see J. Jacobson, ‘The Soviet Union is dead, the "Russian question" remains: Part 1: The Communist Party — myth and reality’, New Politics, 5, 2 (n.s.) 1995, http://www.wpunj.edu/newpol/issue18/jacobs18.htm. http://www.wpunj.edu/newpol/issue18/jacobs18.htm ‘American communism revisited’ New York Review of Books Google Scholar

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Isserman's own Which Side Are You On? is one of the few party-centred studies, and it focuses on the six-year period from late 1939 to 1946 with only brief summaries for the pre- and post-war periods. Google Scholar

The two traditionalist, one-volume studies are: Howe and Coser, The American Communist Party and Klehr and Haynes, The American Communist Movement. Google Scholar

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A. Wald, ‘Communist writers fight back in Cold War America’, in P. Goldstein (ed.), Styles of Cultural Activism. From Theory and Pedagogy to Women, Indians, and Communism, Cranbury, NJ, University of Delaware Press and Associated University Presses, 1994. Wald's works include A. M. Wald, Writing from the Left. New Essays on Radical Culture and Politics, London and New York, Verso, 1994; A. M. Wald, The New York Intellectuals. The Rise and Decline of the Anti-Stalinist Left from the 1930s to the 1980s, Chapel Hill, University of North Carolina Press, 1987; A. M. Wald, Exiles from a Future Time. The Forging of the Mid-Twentieth-Century Literary Left, Chapel Hill. University of North Carolina Press, 2002. Styles of Cultural Activism. From Theory and Pedagogy to Women, Indians, and Communism Google Scholar

R. D. G. Kelley, Hammer and Hoe. Alabama Communists During the Great Depression, Chapel Hill, University of North Carolina Press, 1990; R. D. G. Kelley, Race Rebels. Culture, Politics, and the Black Working Class, New York and Toronto, Free Press and Maxwell Macmillan, 1994. Hammer and Hoe. Alabama Communists During the Great Depression Google Scholar

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H. Klehr, J. E. Haynes and F. I. Firsov, The Secret World of American Communism, New Haven, Yale University Press, 1995; H. Klehr, J. E. Haynes and K. M. Anderson, The Soviet World of American Communism, New Haven, Yale University Press, 1998; J. E. Haynes and H. Klehr, Venona. Decoding Soviet Espionage in America, New Haven, Yale University Press, 1999; J. E. Haynes, Red Scare or Red Menace? American Communism and Anticommunism in the Cold War Era, Chicago, Ivan R. Dee, 1996. The Secret World of American Communism Google Scholar

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V. Pedersen, ‘Riding the wave: the Indiana Communist Party, 1929-1934’, MA thesis, Indiana State University, 1987; V. L. Pedersen, The Communist Party in Maryland, 1919-57, Urbana and Chicago, University of Illinois Press, 2001, p. 3. Google Scholar

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E. Schrecker, ‘Post-Cold War triumphalism and historical revisionism’, conference presentation, American Historical Association, Boston, 2001. Radosh, a former young Communist and New Leftist activist, particularly irritates revisionists. His major works include: R. Radosh and J. Milton, The Rosenberg File. A Search for the Truth, New York, Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, 1983; H. Klehr and R. Radosh, The Amerasia Spy Case. Prelude to McCarthyism, Chapel Hill, University of North Carolina Press, 1996; R. Radosh, M. R. Habeck, and G. N. Sevostianov, Spain Betrayed. The Soviet Union in the Spanish Civil War, New Haven, Yale University Press, 2001. Google Scholar

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See http://www.tandf.co.uk/journals/routledge/14743892.html Google Scholar

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Author details

Haynes, John

Klehr, Harvey