CPUSA: Moscow's stooge

Justin Schwartz jschwart at freenet.columbus.oh.us
Tue Apr 25 20:10:08 MDT 1995

Scott and I don't seem to be getting anywhere, and as I suspect that most
people on the list agree with me--which is why we aren't in the
CPUSA--I'll leave the matter alone. The history of the CPUSA is of course
central to the life of the American left in the 20th century and is
undergoing constant reappraisal, of which the new  Klehr book is part,
although not perhaps the most constructive part. (As Lisa's friend
said--so, they were Moscow's stooges--this is news?) There's some good
work by the New Communist historians, of which I think Robin D.G. Kelly's
Hammer and Hoe is among the best--it's about the CP's honorable role in
organizing Alabama sharecroppers in the 30s. There's also a new collection
of papers by the NCH, whose title and editor I have misplaced, which
Theodore Draper attacked in the NYRB as soft on communism. Haven't read
it, but if someone has the reference, it mught be good to post it so folks
who are interested can get a taste of what the NCH are doing. (Btw the NCH
are not mostly, or at all, CP members, but new leftists who are interested
in CP history.)

For world communist history, and part of why the Klehr revelations are not
news, see CLR James' World Revolution 1917-36, a history of the Comintern
but a distinguished West Indian Trotskyist, or anyway Third Camper. (The
Third Camp positions is: Neither Washington nor Moscow but International
Socialism! Obviously this slogan is now one third obsolete.)

--Justin Schwartz

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