[Marxism] A novel about CP'ers

shacht at aol.com shacht at aol.com
Mon Sep 9 21:32:38 MDT 2013

The American Communist Party certainly deserves a novelistic treatment. But who could do it? It would take a lifetime of study, thought and research if it developed the panorama and distance deserved. Generations have to be covered and covered in terms of the reality of the struggles in which that party engaged and the schizophrenic nature of American Stalinism itself both as reflected in the emotions and experiences of the characters and the country.

For a work that approaches this viewpoint - albeit in almost allegorical yet autobiographical form there is one work worth mentioning, and it doesn't mention the American Communist Party. It doesn't have to. The whole work is the working out of the relationship of an American communist with his experience in that party as an ideological movement betrayed without the individual betrayal of an ideal. 

The work is Joseph Freeman's "Never Call Retreat." Freeman was once American Communism's leading intellectual, who also wrote "Dollar Diplomacy" (with Scott Nearing), edited "Voices of October," the papers of the first American Writers Congress and produced an autobiography, "American Testament" (favorable reviewed in the Daily Worker, attacked in Pravda and promptly removed from party bookstores. Freeman never became an apostate. He simply faded away. A former editor of the New Masses, he was a major source of information for Daniel Aron,s "Writers on The Left."

-----Original Message-----
From: Louis Proyect <lnp3 at panix.com>
To: Wayne M. Collins <shacht at aol.com>
Sent: Sun, Sep 8, 2013 9:50 am
Subject: [Marxism] A novel about CP'ers

Rule #1: YOU MUST clip all extraneous text when replying to a message.

This was the lead review in the book review section today. 

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