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The “Mental Comintern” and the Self-Destructive Tactics of CPUSA, 1945-1958


The Communist Movement, 1944-1956

Institute of National Remembrance, Poland

28 September 2007

By John Earl Haynes


The Communist Party, USA (CPUSA) emerged from World War II with significant institutional strength.  Its membership exceeded 60,000 and largely consisted of native-born citizens, unlike the prewar party that had a large noncitizen immigrant membership.  CPUSA had achieved a base in the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO), the second largest of America’s two trade union federations, with Communists leading unions with a quarter of CIO’s membership.  Communists achieved a significant role as part of the New Deal political coalition’s left-wing and were influential in mainstream politics in the states of New York, California, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Oregon, and Washington.

By 1958 all had changed.  Membership had collapsed to about 3,000, and Communists had been expelled from the CIO.  CPUSA had become a political pariah and retained no influence in the Democratic Party, the nation’s dominant political party.  Traditionally, the collapse has been attributed to government persecution and public anti-Communist sentiment brought on by the Cold War.  And, indeed, both factors played a role.  Less appreciated is the extent to which the CPUSA contributed to its own collapse by making disastrous political choices based on a misunderstanding of what Moscow wanted.



The Comintern Era

In 1919, radicals inspired by the Bolshevik revolution founded two new parties, the Communist Party of America and the Communist Labor Party.  Both parties proclaimed their adherence to the newly organized Communist International (Comintern) and sent emissaries to Moscow seeking Comintern recognition.  The differences between the two were chiefly over leadership and organization issues, not ideology, and in Moscow the two parties competed by each proclaiming itself to be more loyal to the Comintern than the other and modeling itself more closely on the Bolshevik party than the other.  This pattern of deference to Moscow’s leadership and example only became stronger over time. 

Comintern demanded and achieved merger of the two competing parties.  Numerous Comintern representatives journeyed to the United States in the 1920s to arbitrate factional fights in the American party, supervise party conventions, and oversee the work of selected party organizations and affiliates.  More than once Comintern representative simply by fiat imposed a Comintern selected leadership slate on the fractious American party.  Similarly, the Comintern also imposed its will on organization and ideological matters.  For example, in  1924 the Comintern imposed a drastic change in the American party’s tactical stance in the 1924 American presidential election, and in 1925 the American party, at Comintern insistence, adopted a “Bolshevization” plan that eliminated the semi-autonomy of its foreign-language ethnic/immigrant affiliates.  American Communists wanted, sought, and competed for Comintern approval.  In no case did the American Communist party offer significant resistance to Comintern guidance.  Those in the movement who seriously resisted Moscow’s guidance quickly became ex-Communists.[1] 

The final stage of the American party’s willing subordination to Moscow came in 1928 and 1929.  In 1928, at Comintern urging, the American party expelled James Cannon, one of the movement’s leading figures, and all those thought to be infected with Trotskyism.  In the aftermath of Cannon’s expulsion, in 1929 Jay Lovestone, Benjamin Gitlow and Bertram Wolfe led the party’s dominant faction that controlled 95 of 104 delegates to the party’s 1929 convention.  But Lovestone had been associated with Nikolai Bukharin and, despite Lovestone hastily disavowing Bukharin when it was clear he was on the way out in Moscow, Comintern intervened to destroy Lovestone and his associates.  Joseph Stalin himself presided over a Comintern review of the leadership of the American party.  When Gitlow told the Comintern reviewing committee that his faction was the majority of the American party, Stalin’s contemptuously dismissed the claim:

You declare you have a certain majority in the American Communist Party and that you will retain that majority under all circumstances. This is untrue, comrades of the American delegation, absolutely untrue. You had a majority because the American Communist Party until now regarded you as the determined supporters of the Communist International. And it was only because the Party regarded you as the friends of the Comintern that you had a majority in the ranks of the American Communist Party. But what will happen if the American workers learn that you intend to break the unity of the ranks of the Comintern and are thinking of conducting a fight against its executive bodies -- that is the question, dear comrades? Do you think that the American workers will follow your lead against the Comintern, that they will prefer the interests of your factional group to the interests of the Comintern? There have been numerous cases in the history of the Comintern when its most popular leaders, who had greater authority than you, found themselves isolated as soon as they raised the banner against the Comintern. Do you think you will fare better than these leaders? A poor hope, comrades! At present you still have a formal majority. But tomorrow you will have no majority and you will find yourselves completely isolated if you attempt to start a fight against the decisions of the Presidium of the Executive Committee of the Comintern.[2]

Stalin was right.  Once American Communists heard that Lovestone, Gitlow, and Wolfe had lost Moscow’s mandate, the Lovestoneist majority vanished, the three were expelled, and only few hundred loyalists followed them out of the party.  Factionalism inside the American party ended, and the thoroughly Stalinized party readily accepted a leadership slate selected by the Comintern, one that after a period of transition solidified in 1931 behind General Secretary Earl Browder. 

In the 1930s the Great Depression caused a segment of Americans to question the adequacy and justice of the capitalist economic system, and the rise of Fascism and Nazism also called into question the will of the Western democracies to resist Fascist aggression.  In the circumstances, the CPUSA grew rapidly, particularly after 1936 when its “Popular Front” stance allowed Communists to adopt patriotic rhetoric and use antifascism as a platform for alliances with the broad coalition supporting President Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal program.  CPUSA reached a peak membership registration of 66,000 in January 1939, established a strong presence in the new trade union federation, the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO), won prestige in intellectual circles, and achieved modest but significant influence in mainstream politics. 

With the CPUSA under Browder’s steady leadership, Comintern reduced its micro-management.  Moscow continued to review CPUSA decisions and leadership slates, making changes when it wished.  In 1936, for example, it instructed the CPUSA to drop two persons from its proposed slate of Political Bureau members entirely and vetoed the promotion of another from candidate to full member.[3]  Overall, however, Comintern afforded Browder and the CPUSA more initiative and latitude than in the 1920s.  For example, Communist entry into the then newly organized CIO was a CPUSA initiative.  The Comintern had reservations, but after a persuasive CPUSA defense of the plan, Comintern allowed it to go forward.[4]  The German Cominternist Gerhart Eisler, the last Comintern representative with plenipotentiary authority, left the U.S. in 1936.[5]  Communications between the CPUSA and Comintern, however, remained close.  In addition to a constant flow of telegraphic cables and postal letters, all through the 1930s CPUSA sent a stream of American Communists to Moscow: official party “representatives” to the Comintern, “referents” who served apprenticeships with sections of the Comintern, cadre attending training sessions at the International Lenin School and delegations of party activists attending Comintern-related conferences.   High-level CPUSA officials also delivered lengthy written reports and were examined in person by the Comintern’s Anglo-American Secretariat.  

 Loyalty to the “Great Land of Socialism” continued to be a core value of American Communists.  In the mid-30s new members of the CPUSA recited a pledge to “defend the Soviet Union, the land of victorious Socialism” and to bring about “the triumph of Soviet Power in the United States.”[6]   The party’s 1935 manual of organization stated that the CPUSA’s goal was “the revolutionary overthrow of capitalism ... the establishment of a Socialist Soviet Republic in the United States” and declared “the Soviet Union is the only fatherland of workers all over the world” and “therefore, the workers all over the world must help the Soviet Union in building socialism and must defend it with all their power”[7]  And, while the Popular Front policies of 1936 and thereafter changed the tone of party rhetoric, the substance remained the same.  Party conferences mixed with American flags with traditional red banners and portraits of Washington, Jefferson and Lincoln hung beside those of Marx, Lenin, and Stalin.  Browder announced that the American Declaration of Independence should be understood as a foreshadowing of Marx’s Communist Manifesto, and had the patriotic “Yankee Doodle” played at party conventions.  Party organizers stopped dressing in Bolshevik black leather and adapted American folk music and country music as the musical format of agitational songs.  “Communism is Twentieth Century Americanism” became the quintessential party slogan of the Popular Front.  Attractive to potential recruits and garnering considerable and often approving attention from the mainstream media, the slogan encapsulated the party’s public embrace of American values and the political mainstream.   Its history, however, also demonstrates the limits and shallowness of the CPUSA’s commitment to those values.  Moscow thought American flags at a party convention and pro-union lyrics set to banjo music were acceptable ways to promote the Popular Front.  “Communism is Twentieth Century Americanism,” however, went too far with its implication that Marxism-Leninism-Stalinism should be understood as an expression of American political traditions.  In early 1938 the Comintern secretly ordered the CPUSA to drop the slogan, and it did so without hesitation.[8] 

Browder and other party leaders and well as most rank-and-file members accepted the Nazi-Soviet Pact of August 1939 Pact without hesitation.  Comintern did find it necessary to fine-tune the CPUSA’s stance.  Immediately after the Pact, Georgi Dimitrov, chief of the Comintern, sent a ciphered message to Browder explaining that the CPUSA’s line supporting the Pact was not fully correct because while it broke with President Roosevelt’s policy of supporting Britain and France in their resistance to Nazi aggression, it failed to take the additional step of breaking with FDR’s domestic policies as well.  Browder and the CPUSA immediately made the required changes in its policies, and in 1940 the CPUSA did it best to prevent FDR’s reelection to the presidency.[9]    And in 1940 young organizers marked for future party leadership heard senior leaders lecture:

The single country where the dictatorship of the proletariat has triumphed represents a wedge driven into world capitalism by the world proletariat.  The USSR is the stronghold of the world proletariat; it cannot be looked on as merely a nation or a country; it is the most advanced position of the world proletariat in the struggle for a socialist world.  When the Red Army marches, it is the international proletariat marching to extend its sphere of operations in the struggle against world imperialism.  In the period of capitalist superiority in strength, the Party splits world imperialism by taking advantage of its inherent contradictions; it also builds up the strength of the USSR to provide the world working class with greater might.  Stalin, the great genius of socialism, stands like a colossus of steel as the leader of the world proletariat.[10]

While loyalty to Soviet leadership was by this point a deeply ingrained part of the world-view of American Communists, World War II, nonetheless, reduced the direct organization ties of CPUSA to Comintern as well as drastically reducing the volume of communications.  Postal communications became less reliable and was often delayed and subject to government inspection.  International cable traffic was routinely reviewed by war-time security officials.  Travel to the USSR became increasingly difficult and earlier heavy flow of American Communists to and from Moscow ended.  In 1940 the U.S. Congress passed and President Roosevelt signed into law the Voorhis Act that imposed regulatory requirement on domestic American organizations with foreign government ties, and to avoid possible Voorhis Act coverage, in November 1940, CPUSA (with Comintern permission) severed its official membership in the Communist International, and the last officially designated CPUSA representative in Moscow left in 1941.[11]  And, of course, the Comintern itself dissolved in 1943.


The “Mental Comintern”

The CPUSA’s loyalty to Moscow was not reduced by the reduced communications and loss of direct organizational ties.  Inevitably, however, the CPUSA’s understanding of what Moscow did or did not want became more indirect and based on judgments about the direction of Soviet policy rather than on direct communications.   Joseph Starobin, a senior CPUSA official in the late 1940s and early 1950s, later wrote that although the physical Comintern had disappeared, American Communists:

lived in what can only be called “a mental Comintern,” imagining themselves part of something which did not exist.  Seen in the best light, they were a species of self-proclaimed guerrillas, operating in what they believed to be a world battle, but having no significant contact with any “main force” and without a perception of the battle plan.  They resorted essentially to zodiac signs for guidance.  Because they dared not analyze Soviet aims in terms of the hard realities of power, they could not appraise Soviet policy either pragmatically or cynically. . . .  The American Communists not only were viewed by others as expendable, but they also expended themselves -- in a noble or pathetic fashion, depending on one’s point of view.  Their international commitment was thus a species of drug, contracting the mind as it expanded the illusions of the mind.[12]

  Party leaders loyally sought to do what Moscow wanted, but they could no longer rely an a constant flow of cables, direct conversations with Comintern officials, and information picked up by American cadre visiting Moscow to tell them what Moscow really wanted.  Instead, like later Cold War media, academic, and government experts that came to be called of “Kremlinologists,” American Communists tried to “read between the lines” of stories in the Soviet press and intensely parsed the speeches of Soviet officials to discern what Stalin really wanted.  And, similarly to later “Kremlinologists,” while they often got it right, sometimes they were only half-right and sometimes disastrously wrong.  On occasion in the 1920s and 1930s Comintern communications with the CPUSA had been blunt and even harsh, but it had been clear about what Moscow wanted.  Communications in the “mental Comintern,” however, was often distorted.  The first to suffer from misreading the signals was Earl Browder. 

Browder’s Teheran Doctrine and the Duclos Article

In November 1943, President Roosevelt, Prime Minister Churchill, and Marshall Stalin met in Teheran (spelled Tehran today), Iran in the first of the great three power allied meetings to map out joint strategy for the defeat of Nazi Germany.  They reached agreement on all the immediate major issues and issued a statement affirming three power unity not only about immediate war issues but suggesting in vague, general terms agreement about post-war goals.

 As head of the CPUSA, Earl Browder considered himself to be the leading Marxist-Leninist scientist in North America.  He had been the object of a minor personality cult, regarded himself as America’s Stalin, and possessed a measure of Stalin’s confidence in his own judgment.    To Browder Teheran signaled “the greatest, most important turning point in all history.”   The ruling classes on the U.S. and Britain through their alliance with the Soviet Union had, Browder believed, put aside efforts to destroy communism’s motherland and accepted the Soviet Union as a partner in a new postwar world.  For its part, the Soviet Union had dissolved the Comintern in 1943 and no longer urged its allies in the West to foment revolution.  Teheran signaled, Browder said, that “capitalism and socialism had begun to find the way to peaceful co-existence and collaboration in the same world” and the duty of American Communists was “to work for such policies within the country that will lead toward, and give realistic promise of, the continuation of national unity into the post-war period for a long term of years.”  Acknowledging that “the American people are so ill-prepared, subjectively, for any deep-going change in the direction of socialism” and in order to sustain national unity and block the attempts of reactionaries to destroy peaceful co-existence with the Soviet Union, Browder pledged that the CPUSA “will not raise the issue of socialism in such a form and manner as to endanger of weaken that national unity.”   Instead, Browder said, “the policy for Marxists in the United States is to face with all its consequences the perspective of a capitalist post-war reconstruction in the United States” adopt “a perspective in the immediate post-war period of expanded production and employment and the strengthening of democracy within the framework of the present system -- and not a perspective of the transition to socialism.”   Browder added that Communists were “ready to cooperate in making this capitalism work effectively.”[13]  Browder extended this analysis to liberated Europe as well, writing: “Europe west of the Soviet Union probably will be reconstructed on a bourgeois-democratic, non-fascist capitalist basis, not upon a Soviet basis.”[14] 

Browder proclaimed what he called the “Teheran Doctrine” embodying this judgment and proceeded to remodel the CPUSA to deal with the new era.  Most importantly Browder declared that in the new era there was no political room for an independent Communist Party in America.  Instead, Communists would dissolve the CPUSA and reorganize as a ideological advocacy group and take a place as a integral part of the broad New Deal coalition headed by the Democratic Party.  The Popular Front of the 1930s was transformed from a tactical alliance to a permanent institutional strategy integrating Communists into mainstream politics.[15] 

Browder’s domination of the CPUSA was such that most American Communists accepted the new line without demurrer.  However, a few veteran leaders were discreetly upset with the sweeping and unorthodox nature of Browder’s analysis.  Within the confines of the CPUSA’s top leadership William Z. Foster criticized Browder’s plans.  Although a leading figure in CPUSA since the early 1920s, he had clashed with Browder over the years and was by this time isolated and no longer commanded a party faction.  Browder, supported by the rest of the party leadership, brushed aside Foster’s criticism but did agree to forward it to Moscow. 

The Comintern no longer existed in 1944, but there were remnants of Comintern.  Georgi Dimitrov, chief of the Comintern from 1935 until its dissolution, was still in Moscow and headed Institute 205, a secret body that housed the remnant of the Comintern’s central staff.  (Eventually, most of Institute 205 was merged into the International Department of the CPSU.)  Although the CPUSA had officially disaffiliated from the Comintern in 1940 and the Comintern had officially dissolved in 1943, checking with Moscow was a fixed American party habit.  Browder early in 1944 forwarded Foster’s critique to Dimitrov as a cable via Soviet intelligence channels but also sent his own report explaining his Teheran Doctrine and party reorganization plans via Soviet diplomatic channels.  In March Dimitrov sent a memo to Molotov about the situation and cabled Browder with a reply:

Received Foster’s telegram. Please report which leading party comrades support his views. I am somewhat disturbed by the new theoretical, political and tactical positions you are developing.  Are you not going too far in adapting to the altered international situation, even to the point denying the theory and practice of class struggle and the necessity for the working class to have its own political party?  Please reconsider all this and report your thoughts.  Confirm receipt of this message.[16]

Browder, however, did not reconsider.  He was confident he knew better than Dimitrov where history and Joseph Stalin were going.  Meanwhile, he misled his American comrades, assuring them that his reforms had Moscow’s approval.   Having no competing sources of information and, consequently, believing that Moscow had approved Browder’s reforms, Foster backed down.   In May 1944 a special CPUSA national convention, with Foster presiding, unanimously voted to dissolve the Communist Party, USA and reorganize as the Communist Political Association.  Even earlier, at Browder’s direction, the Young Communist League had dissolved and reformed as the American Youth for Democracy.  The AYD presented itself as a broad liberal-left organization of progressive youth, and its program did not explicitly advocate Marxism-Leninism or even socialism. 

While the war consumed almost all Soviet attention in 1944, nonetheless Moscow noticed Browder’s decision to proceed despite Dimitrov’s warning and was not pleased.  In the fall of 1944 someone commissioned a critiques of Browder’s reforms that appeared in January 1945 issue of the Bulletin of the Information Bureau of the CC RCP(b): Issues of Foreign Policy, a secret Soviet Communist Party journal that circulated among leading officials.  The unsigned article harshly denounced Browder’s Teheran Doctrine and his reforms of the CPUSA, stating flately that Browder’s views were “erroneous conclusions in no wise flowing from a Marxist analysis of the situation” and that his “notorious revision of Marxism” had led to the “liquidation of the independent political party of the working class.”  The essay denied that the wartime Soviet-American agreements could be interpreted to lay the foundation for “a political platform of class peace in the postwar era” or that there was “the possibility of the suppression of the class struggle in the postwar period.”  Instead, the article said the Teheran agreement of the Soviet Union with Britain and the United States was only “a document of a diplomatic character.”  Exactly who authorized or wrote the essay is not clear, possibly Dimitrov who did not leave for Bulgaria until the fall of 1945.  In any event, appearing as in did in an authoritative CPSU ideological journal, it signaled profound Soviet dissatisfaction with Browder’s ideas.  Based on past loyalty to the Soviet cause, the Soviets had every reason to be confident that once American Communists learned of Moscow’s displeasure, the problem would be solved.  But how to get the message to American Communists?  The Bulletin of the Information Bureau was secret and American Communists had no access to it.  The alternative of publishing in an open Soviet journal would certainly bring the matter to the attention of the CPUSA, but this method would risk the article being interpreted as a diplomatic signal that might upset official Soviet-American diplomatic relations, and the latter were already growing delicate in 1945.  With no Comintern in existence, a less direct mechanism was needed.  The ad hoc solution was to translate the article into French, give it to Jacques Duclos, a senior official of the Communist Party of France.  Duclos added a few opening and closing paragraphs explaining (unconvincingly) why he, a French party officer, was rendering judgment on the reform program of the American party.  The article was published with Duclos listed as the sole author in the April 1945 issue of Les Cahiers du Communisme, a French party journal that appeared publicly and to which Americans had easy access, and by May copies and translations of Duclos’s article were circulating in the U.S.[17]

The result was consternation in the American Communist movement.  The Duclos article was immediately recognized not as the singular opinion of a French party official but as Moscow’s condemnations of  Browder’s reforms. The physical Comintern was dead, but the “mental Comintern” lived.  Earl Browder had been the supreme leader of the American Communist movement since the early 1930s.  Virtually every major and many minor official in the party owed his or her position to Browder’s approval and in many cases had been personally picked by him for promotion and advancement.  Most rank-and-file members had joined the party subsequent to his taking the leadership and had no memory of any party leader prior to Browder.  None of this counted when Moscow, even by the indirect means of an article in a French Communist journal by a French party leader most had never heard of, indicated its disapproval.  In June the Communist Political Association stripped Browder of his authority and in July 1945 an emergency convention dissolved the CPA and reconstituted the Communist Party, USA.   The CPUSA expelled Browder in 1946 and denounced its former leader as “an unreconstructed revisionist ... a social-imperialist ... an enemy of the working class ... a renegade ... an apologist for American imperialism.”[18] 

The Mental Comintern and the Failed Gamble of the 1948 Election

The CPUSA emerged from World War II with significant institutional strength.  Its membership was around 60,000, close to its pre-war peak, and it maintained considerable institutional strength in the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO), the second largest of America’s two trade union federations.  While the Nazi-Soviet Pact had damaged it Popular Front relationship with liberals, much of that harm had been repaired in the period after June 1941 when Communist threw themselves whole-heartedly behind President Roosevelt’s war policies.  Communists had achieved a significant role as part of the New Deal political coalition’s left-wing and were influential in mainstream politics in the states of New York, California, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Oregon, and Washington.

The revived CPUSA however, faced a major political dilemma.  The Duclos article had told American Communists what not to do: they were not to give up their independence by integrating into mainstream liberalism and they were not to assume that the postwar world would see a continuation of the wartime alliance.  It was also unquestioned that the CPUSA would defend the interests of the Soviet Union in the postwar era.  As American-Soviet tension began to develop in 1946, President Truman began to position the United States for what would become the Cold War.  Instinctively, the CPUSA opposed Truman’s policies and had no doubts that Moscow wanted American Communists to oppose Truman.  But what was unclear was how the CPUSA should oppose Truman.

There were two paths.  The first, and more cautious, was to oppose Truman and his policies from within the Democratic Party.  Such a path had some hope for success.  Truman’s leadership seemed pedestrian after the charismatic FDR, and the demobilization in 1946 had produced a great deal of confusion, waste, and resentment.  Republicans won control of the Congress in the 1946 elections, and the trade union movement was feuding with the Truman administration’s attempts to discourage postwar strikes that threatened the economic transition from a wartime to a peacetime economy.  Truman’s popularity sank so low in 1947 that Republicans were confident of defeating him in 1948.  If Communists and their allies stayed within the Democratic Party they could appeal to Democrats either disenchanted with Truman’s policies or concerned that the President was unelectable.  And they had potentially viable replacement for Truman as the Democratic candidate in 1948: Henry Wallace, who had served FDR as Secretary of Agriculture, Vice-President, and Secretary of Commerce before being fired by Truman for opposing the new President’s emerging Cold War policies.  Wallace could potentially challenge Truman in Democratic primaries and caucuses and possibly wrest the 1948 nomination from Truman. 

The barriers to success, however, were large.  The majority of Democratic Party national convention delegates were not chosen in primaries but by party caucuses and conventions controlled by party professionals unlikely to support a naive idealist like Henry Wallace.  And if Truman won the nomination from the Democratic National Convention in 1948, as was likely, then Communists and their Popular Front liberal allies would face a frustrating situation.  The American electoral system was such that if they waited until after the Democratic nomination was decided in the summer of 1948, there was as a practical matter no effective way to offer an alternative to Truman or the Republican nominee in the fall election.  Essentially, if Communists and their allies stayed in the Democratic Party and failed to prevail at the Democratic National Convention, the most they could do would be to sit out the fall election and wait until 1950.  However, this result also pointed to the safety of this path; even if Communists and their allies were defeated at the 1948 Democratic convention, they would survive to fight another day with their positions in the broad New Deal coalition and the labor movement intact.

The second path was bolder and had greater risk: to pull out of the Democratic Party, create a new third party that could offer an alternative to both Republican conservatism and Truman’s combination of moderate liberalism and an increasingly anti-Soviet foreign policy.  Although victory for a third party was unlikely, even a respectable third place would so divide the New Deal voting base that Truman would be defeated and Democrats in 1950 would seek to accommodate progressives by dropping Truman’s Cold War policies for something more accommodating to Soviet needs.  And, if Truman’s popularity continued to drop in 1948 and it had in 1947, there was even a possibility that Democrats would fall into third place and the new party with Communists in its leadership would become the primary political vehicle for New Deal voters. 

This path, however, also had very grave risks.  Once Communists and their Popular Front allies pulled out of the Democratic Party, they were exposed, and if Truman won reelection, their third party might be marginalized and their opportunity to get back into the Democratic party would be limited.  Further, to abandon the Democratic Party would put at risk the Communist party’s position in the CIO.  Despite feuding with the Truman White House over various matters, most CIO leaders regarded the labor movement’s protection under federal labor regulations as tied to the fate of the Democratic Party.  Many CIO leaders would oppose any third parity that threatened liberal and labor unity in 1948. 

Which path to take?  There was no longer a Comintern to consult in 1946.  And with Dimitrov’s departure for Bulgaria, there was no readily identifiable authoritative figure in Moscow for the CPUSA to consult.  Temporarily the CPUSA put off a decision by pursuing both paths.  Communists proceeded on two parallel tracks in 1946 and early 1947, supporting both Popular Front liberal allies who wanted to fight Truman within the Democratic Party and those who wanted to break with the Democratic Party and create a “pure” and uncompromised progressive party.  In part this decision to pursue both paths was simply a waiting to see if the political situation changed sufficiently to make the preferred path clear.  In large part, however, it was also waiting for Moscow to signal what path was preferred.  But the political situation did not change sufficiently to indicate what was the most likely path to success, and Moscow sent no signals that the CPUSA could read. 

The CPUSA was desperate for detailed discussions with the Soviets but little opportunity existed. Soviet diplomats were not authorized to discuss domestic American politics with the CPUSA.  CPUSA leaders had been in contact with Soviet intelligence officers.  But Soviet intelligence in the wake of the late 1945 defections of Elizabeth Bentley and Igor Gouzenko had temporary withdrawn most of its field officers from North America and, in any event, the CPUSA leader who had worked most closely with Soviet intelligence had been the now disgraced Earl Browder.  And travel to Moscow by Americans was severely restricted by Soviet policy and lingering war time disruptions in international travel.

The first opportunity for a senior American Communist to talk frankly with Soviet officials came in March 1947 when Moscow hosted a conference of the foreign ministers of the Soviet Union, Great Britain, and the United States.  The Soviets allowed a sizable delegation of American journalists to cover the conference, including Morris Childs, chief editor of the CPUSA’s Daily Worker.  Childs, however, was not primarily a journalist.  He was a senior CPUSA official who had served in numerous responsible party posts. 

Once in Moscow he sought out staff officials of the International Department of the CPSU and briefed them on all aspects of the CPUSA’s activities and internal situation.  The memos showed several things.  One was that the official who met with Childs and wrote the memoranda, Boris Vronsky, wrote in a way that suggested only limited prior knowledge of the CPUSA’s recent internal situation.  A second aspect was that Vronsky appeared to have no guidance about how to respond to Childs urgent request for Soviet advice on several matters, the most important of which was how to approach the 1948 American presidential election, specifically: “What is the best use to which the growing progressive movement can be put in the upcoming U.S. presidential campaign?” and “What is [our] opinion on the creation of a third party if Wallace, Pepper, Murray and others refuse to participate in this at the present time?”[19]

In response to Vronsky’s memo, Alexander Panyushkin, a senior CPSU central committee advisor (to become Soviet Ambassador to the U.S. in October 1947), observed, “it seems to us that in the U.S. the conditions are not yet in place to create such a party at the present time.”  Panyushkin suggested that Childs be cautioned, “the apparent task of the CPUSA at the present time is to struggle for unity of action of all progressive forces and above all for unity of action in the workers’ movement.  And resolving the problem of creating a third party depends on that.”[20] 

Childs had asked to meet with a senior Soviet official so that he could carry back an authoritative answer to the CPUSA.  He was allowed to meet with Solomon Lozovsky, once a deputy foreign minister and former chief of the Profintern.  While Lozovsky was known to the CPUSA from his Profintern days, in 1947 his star was in decline and he was director of the Soviet Information Bureau, an arm of the International Department.[21]  Lozovsky conveyed to Childs the essence of Panyushkin’s suggestion: the key to the decision over creating a third party was achieving unity on the progressive left, and Lozovsky cautioned against jeopardizing the CPUSA’s role in the CIO.  Lozovsky also spoke approvingly of Yevgeni S. Varga’s book, Changes in the Economics of Capitalism as a Result of the Second World War, that had appeared in 1946.  Varga headed Moscow’s Institute of World Economy and World Politics and was a leading Soviet authority on economics and ideology.  In this book Varga argued that, due to the destruction of European industry, for a time the chief source of war, capitalist overproduction and competition for markets, was absent.  America would face overproduction but with Europe suffering from underproduction, the obvious remedy was the export of American capital to Europe to support the rebuilding of European industry.  Varga also suggested that the economies of Eastern European nations would remain capitalist in character and tied to Western European markets for a lengthy period.[22] 

Childs dutifully carried this cautious advice on a third party back to his colleagues in the CPUSA leadership along with Lozovsky’s recommendation of Varga’s writings when he returned from the foreign ministers conference in mid-April.  In the short run, this advice did little to resolve the CPUSA’s dilemma.  The Soviets had not rejected the bold third party path, but they had warned that progressive unity should be maintained and that the CPUSA should avoid severing ties with the CIO and its more cautious liberal allies.  But how could one be sure that a third party would or would not break links with the CIO and liberal allies before one actually founded the third party and the political dynamic worked itself out?  The American party wanted clear guidance and got cautious ambiguity.  So for the moment that CPUSA continued its two-track policy of simultaneously working within the Democratic Party to mount a challenge to Truman and also encouraging militants who were contemplating creating a third party. 

The cautious advise that Childs delivered, however, was quickly undercut by events in the Soviet Union.  Stalin was in the process of shifting his foreign policy to a more aggressive Cold War path.  Varga’s book, with a theme that appeared to accept American economic predominance in Europe, did not fit well with a more confrontational stance.  In May 1947 Soviet leaders launched an ideological attack on Varga for having failed to take a Stalinist position of the world situation.  The CPSU ordered Varga’s institute merged into another Soviet agency and the once high-flying Varga returned to his native Hungary to a minor position in its new Communist regime. 

The anti-Varga campaign had nothing to do with the cautious advice that Childs had received, but in the absence of adequate communications, many CPUSA leaders saw a connection.  In their “mental Comintern” world, if Moscow could signal its disapproval of Browderism via an article authored by a Frenchman in a French journal, Varga’s fall must call into question the advice that Childs had gotten from Lozovsky, who had spoken well of the disgraced Varga.  Varga’s fall along with increasingly belligerent statements from Moscow convinced CPUSA leaders that Morris Childs had talked to the wrong people in Moscow, gotten wrong advice, and had mislead the CPUSA on what Moscow wanted.  He was ousted from the editorship of the Daily Worker. But if Child’s report that Moscow counseled caution had been wrong, exactly what was right was still unclear.  A June meeting of the CPUSA’s leadership continued the party’s simultaneous pursuit both paths to the 1948 election. 

Then in September, 1947, Moscow organized the Communist Information Bureau (Cominform).  (And we today meet on the 60th anniversary and in the same place as that conference.)  Andrei Zhdanov, Stalin’s chief ideologist, dominated the meeting and his speech gave the organization its policy line.  Zhdanov proclaimed:

the division of the political forces operating in the international arena into two main camps -- the imperialist and anti-democratic camp on the one hand and the anti-imperialist and democratic camp on the other.  The main, leading force of the imperialist camp is the U.S.A....  The anti-imperialist and anti-fascist forces constitute the other camp.  The U.S.S.R. and the countries of the new democracy [Eastern Europe] constitute the mainstay of that camp.[23]

 This two camps thesis left little room for accommodation and compromise.

Cominform was not a new Comintern.  Comintern supervised Communist movements everywhere on the globe and its mission was world revolution.  Cominform had a limited membership and a limited purpose.  Only European Communist parties belonged, and not all of them.  Essentially, the Cominform was an anti-Marshall plan agency, a mechanism for Soviet coordination of assaults by European Communist parties on Truman’s plan to use American financial aid in a coordinated European economic recovery program. 

 But although the CPUSA was not a member of Cominform, and no CPUSA representatives were even present at its founding, once the news reached the U.S. of the formation of Cominform and Zhdanov’s harsh assaults on American policies, CPUSA leaders ended their two-track policy toward the 1948 election.  In their eyes, Cominform and Zhdanov’s speech was the long awaited signal: no accommodation, no compromise, only bold steps were acceptable.  In the fall of 1947, the CPUSA moved swiftly to establish a third-party no matter what the costs to its existing alliances.  

Popular Front allies of the CPUSA persuaded Henry Wallace to abandon the Democratic Party and lead a third party, the Progressive Party, in the 1948 election.  Communist activists in the CIO used all their influence to get their unions to support Wallace’s Progressive Party and defied the CIO’s national leadership decision to oppose the Progressive Party as a threat to liberal unity.  Popular Front liberals and Democratic politicians and office holders allied with the CPUSA were encouraged, cajoled, persuaded and in some cases ordered on threat of political oblivion to break with the Democratic Party and join the new Progressive Party.  Every magazine, newspaper, journal, front group, civil body, and organization where the CPUSA had influence was mobilized for the Progressive Party campaign that ran not only Wallace for the presidency but candidates for the U.S. Congress, state governorships, and state legislatures as well.

The results was disaster.  Anti-Communist liberals, already growing stronger as the Cold War grew more intense, used the creation of the Progressive Party as an illustration of CPUSA manipulation and stressed that any association with Communists was a threat to liberal unity and a political liability.  Many liberals who had earlier been allied with Communists in the Democratic party refused to make the jump to the Progressive Party and fled from association with what was perceived by much of the American public as a Communist front.  As the election approached in the fall of 1948 the Progressive Party, rather than being the broad progressive coalition it was intended to be, was little more than Henry Wallace, Communists pretending they were non-Communist progressives, a handful of Popular Front liberals, and a few Communist-led CIO unions. Compounding the weakness of the Progressive Party was the revival of President Truman’s popularity as his forceful foreign policy and his criticism of Republican domestic policies struck a chord with the public. 

Truman won with 24,045,052 votes, Thomas Dewey (Republican) was second with 21,896,927 votes, and Strom Thurmond of the States Rights party was third with 1,168,687 votes.  Wallace came in fourth with 1,137,957 votes, 2.3% of the total.  Results for congressional and state elections were even more dismal.  Only a single Progressive Party nominee won election to Congress while the revived Democrats regained control of both houses.

Earlier, Communists and their Popular Front allies had been part of the broad New Deal coalition.  After 1948, the New Deal coalition was dominated by Truman’s Cold War Democrats and anti-Communist liberals.  By leaving the Democratic Party, Communists and their Popular Front allies had exposed, tainted, and marginalized themselves.  Even after the collapse of the Progressive Party few were able to work they way back into positions of influence in mainstream liberalism.

The most damaging results for the CPUSA, however, was in the trade union movement.  Many union leaders and activists had long mistrusted Communists, but had grudgingly tolerated their presence.  And CIO Communists in positions of responsibility in a number of major unions had been able to lend considerable institutional support to Communist causes.  But Communist defiance of CIO political decisions in 1948 enraged CIO leaders and ended that toleration.  In 1949 and 1950 CIO organizers and staff that were identified as Communists were fired and anti-Communist caucuses in individual CIO unions drove most Communists from union offices.  Those few unions that retained Communist leaders were expelled from the CIO, and both the CIO and AFL sponsored competing unions that sought to takeover their members.  Within two years the once strong Communist presence in the trade union movement was reduced to a weak remnant. 

Since the 1930s American Communists had built up a formidable array of institutions and achieved a significant measure of influence in the labor movement and in liberal-left political circles.  In 1948 Communists gambled these assets on the Progressive Party and lost the gamble.  The 1948 Progressive Party adventure broke the back of communism in America by destroying its political position in the New Deal coalition and its institutional role in the trade union movement.  In the years that followed American Communists suffered other defeats and setbacks.  The U.S. government use of the anti-sedition provisions of the Smith Act to prosecute CPUSA leaders, hostile exposure of party activities by congressional investigations, and fierce public anti-Communist sentiment delivered additional blows to the party.  But the Progressive Party undertaking, however, was the movement’s decisive defeat.  What followed was a long dying.

The Progressive Party disaster was not the result of the CPUSA blindly following orders from Moscow.  Moscow issued no orders.  Indeed, the only guidance it offered via Lozovsky had been cautious and, looking back on it, imminently sensible.  But the CPUSA was so concerned to do what Moscow wanted, that it needed clarity and repeated assurances of what it was to do.  The one instance of sensible advice delivered via Lozovsky was quickly lost in the clutter of American Communists seeing signs and signals in Soviet actions where none existed.  It is doubtful that anyone connected with the creation of Cominform or that Andrei Zhdanov when preparing his speech thought that their actions would be seen as signals of what path the CPUSA should take toward the 1948 election.  But American Communists continued to live in a “mental Comintern.”  They wanted to do what Moscow wanted, no more and no less.  Indeed, they not only wanted to know, they needed to know.  The CPUSA’s only mechanism for resolving major disputes and dilemmas was to have Moscow decide.  The CPUSA needed to receive a signal to resolve their indecision about 1948.  Emotionally, Cominform and the Zhdanov speech was a relief to CPUSA.  Their indecision was over, they believed that Moscow had signaled what way to go, and the CPUSA marched into folly.

The “mental Comintern” would in a similar fashion lead to additional missteps.  In 1950, taking the Soviet Union’ harsh anti-American rhetoric and its lurid depictions of American sinking into a Fascist nightmare literally, a paranoid party leadership dropped from membership several thousand supporters judged insufficiently militant to withstand the expected Fascist crack down.  In 1950-54, it also send hundreds of experienced leaders and cadre into an underground existence to avoid arrest when the American government openly revealed its Fascist character and imprisoned all Communists and progressives.  The CPUSA expected the cadre it send underground to emulate the German Communist Party’s resistance to the Nazi regime.  The underground exercise was not only pointless (there was no Fascist crack down) but counterproductive because the party badly needed those cadre to sustain its activities at a time when it was under severe stress.   (After Stalin’s death, it became clear to the party that maintaining the underground cadre was a colossal waste, and it was quietly abandoned.) 

The reaction of the CPUSA to Nikita Khrushchev’s 1956 speech on Stalin’s crimes further illustrated the power of the “mental Comintern” and its negative consequences.  Stalin had been the central figure of the mental world of most American Communists since the 1930s, and Khrushchev’s speech exploded that world.   Peggy Dennis, wife of Gene Dennis, CPUSA general secretary in 1956, remembered that on reading the text “the last page crumpled in my fist, I lay in the half darkness and I wept....  For Gene’s years in prison....  For the years of silence in which we had buried doubts and questions.  For a thirty-year life’s commitment that lay shattered.  I lay sobbing low, hiccoughing whimpers.”[24]  Her reaction was typical.  Party newspapers and journals, publications that rarely printed internal debate, were for a time filled with angry, outraged, tormented, pain-filled letters, editorials, and resolutions revealing a membership in agony.

Khrushchev disclosed only a portion of the mountains of corpses and rivers of blood that resulted from Stalinism, and much of what he announced was already know in the West.  However, American Communists and their sympathizers had not believed the tales of blood-soaked mass terror, rigged trials, and lethal Gulag labor camps that had been told by anti-Communists and carried by the mainstream American press.  The CPUSA’s theoretical journal Political Affairs editorialized on “the impact of the Khrushchev revelation,” “these revelations” and “the shocking disclosures.” William Z. Foster, the party’s chairman, referred to “the sweeping revelations of the Stalin cult of the individual.” Max Weiss, a longtime leading party figure, said, “the disclosure of the mistakes made under Stalin’s leadership came as a stunning surprise to our Party leadership and membership,” and party chief Gene Dennis wrote, “the facts disclosed about the errors of Stalin . . . are, of course, new to us.”  The historian Aileen Kraditor observed that Dennis’s comment was “a literal lie but a deeper truth: the facts were not new; their meaning was. Truth was not what fitted reality; it was what [authoritative ideological leaders] . . . uttered. The source of a doctrine, news item, or any other statement carried more weight than the content of it; the feeling about the source preceded and determined the true believer’s reaction.” In other words, Dennis, Foster and other American Communists who inhabited the “mental Comintern” did not credit the evidence of Stalin’s crimes until an authoritative Soviet leader, Nikita Khrushchev, ruled that they were crimes.  In the mental world of American Communists, Stalin’s mass murders were only visible only if Moscow could see them.  It was as if American Communists wore special glasses that allowed them to see only what Moscow saw.  Once Khrushchev gave Moscow’s sanction to the charges against Stalinism, American Communists, in shock, suddenly saw bodies littering the landscape.[25]   For most American Communists, this was too much.  Their world was shattered and they left.

The CPUSA had emerged from World War II with about 60,000 members.  As the Cold War gathered strength, as popular American anticommunism grew stronger, as government harassment increased, and after the debacle of the 1948 election and ejection from the CIO, the party steadily shed member.  By 1956 it’s membership was about 12,000.  Then came Khrushchev’s speech, the Hungarian revolt and the party’s internal agony.  In the winter of 1957-58, the CPUSA reregistered its members to get an accurate count of who had survived.  The total was about three thousand; the Communist party had lost over three-quarters of its members in two years.  While government prosecution and harassment had played a role, the most powerful blows that smashed the American Communist movement were self-inflicted. 

Many of the devastating self-inflected wounds resulted from the “mental Comintern” leading American Communists to misunderstand what Moscow wanted because they misread the speeches and actions coming out of the Kremlin.  It was not until the late 1950s that the CPUSA and the Soviets worked out a more direct system of communications that ended what Joseph Starobin had described as the CPUSA resorting to “zodiac signs for guidance” as to what Moscow wanted.  In 1958 Morris Childs, restored to the leadership of the CPUSA, began two decades service liaison between the CPUSA and Moscow.  By that point, however, the American party had been reduced to small and marginalized sect on the fringes of American politics kept alive only by generous secret Soviet financial subsidies and the residual support of a few thousand life-long loyalists.

One odd note about the restoration of direct communications between the CPUSA and Moscow was that a silent partner to the exchanges was the American Federal Bureau of Investigations.  Shortly after Childs fell out of favor with the CPUSA leadership and was removed as Daily Worker editor in mid-1947, he suffered a serious heart attack and dropped out of active party work during a lengthy recovery.  In 1951, while still recovering, the FBI approached him and his brother, Jack, also a veteran CPUSA activist.  Both agreed to cooperate with the FBI.  Morris Childs reentered active CPUSA work in 1954.  By that point the party was in rapid decline, and party leaders needed all the veteran cadre they could mobilize and welcomed him back.  He soon became a confident of Gus Hall, a hard-line Stalinist who emerged out of the party’s near-disintegration in 1956-58 as its dominant figure.  Hall took over formal leadership of the CPUSA in 1959, pushing aside Gene Dennis, the party’s long-time leader, who was dying of cancer.  Hall dominated the party until his death in 2000 at the age of ninety.

With Hall’s backing, Childs traveled back and forth to Moscow for two decades, making fifty-two trips carrying Soviet financial subsidies to the CPUSA, consulting with Soviet leaders, and transmitting information and instructions to the American party, all the while also reporting to the FBI.[26]


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[1]. On the early years of the American party and its relationship to the Comintern, see: Theodore Draper, The Roots of American Communism (New York: Viking Press, 1957); Theodore Draper, American Communism and Soviet Russia (New York: Viking Press, 1960); Harvey Klehr and John Earl Haynes, The American Communist Movement: Storming Heaven Itself (New York: Twayne, 1992); Harvey Klehr, John Earl Haynes, and Kyrill M. Anderson, The Soviet World of American Communism (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1998).  For a view that minimizes as well as justifies Comintern supervision of the American party, see: Jacob A. Zumoff, “The Communist Party of the United States and the Communist International, 1919–1929” (Ph.D. diss., University of London, 2003).

[2]. “First Speech Delivered in the Presidium of the E.C.C.I. on the American Question, May 14, 1929,” in Joseph Stalin, Stalin’s Speeches on the American Communist Party, Delivered in the American Commission of the Presidium of the Executive Committee of the Communist International, May 6, 1929, and in the Presidium of the Executive Committee of the Communist International on the American Question, May 14th, 1929.., pamphlet ([New York]: Central Committee, Communist Party, U. S. A., 1931).

[3]. Klehr, Haynes, and Anderson, The Soviet World, 40–48.

[4]. Klehr, Haynes, and Anderson, The Soviet World, 48–71.

[5]. Klehr, Haynes, and Anderson, The Soviet World, 166–73.

[6]. J. Peters, The Communist Party: A Manual on Organization ([New York]: Workers Library Publishers, 1935), 104–5.

[7]. Peters, C.P. Manual, 8, 16.

[8]. Klehr, Haynes, and Anderson, The Soviet World, 36–40.

[9]. Klehr, Haynes, and Anderson, The Soviet World, 71–84.

[10]. Junius Irving Scales, Cause at Heart: A Former Communist Remembers, assisted by Richard Nickson (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1987), 93–84.

[11]. Klehr, Haynes, and Anderson, The Soviet World, 87–88.

[12]. Joseph R. Starobin, American Communism in Crisis, 1943–1957 (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1972), 223.

[13]. Earl Russell Browder, Teheran and America: Perspectives and Tasks, pamphlet (New York: Workers Library Publishers, 1944), reproduced in Bernard K. Johnpoll, ed., A Documentary History of the Communist Party of the United States (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1994), vol. 5, 294, 297, 299–300.  The pamphlet contained the main report and concluding remarks of Browder at the plenary session of the CPUSA Ntional Committee, 7-9 January 1944.

[14]. Earl Browder, “Teheran -- History’s Greatest Turning Point,” The Communist, January 1944, pp. 3, 7.

[15]. Earl Browder, Teheran; Our Path in War and Peace (New York: International Publishers, 1944).

[16]. Georgi Dimitrov diary entry, Dimitrov to Molotov, 8 March 1944, RGASPI 495-74-482, reproduced in English translation in Klehr, Haynes, and Anderson, The Soviet World, 105–6 and in Georgi Dimitrov, The Diary of Georgi Dimitrov, 1933–1949, ed. Ivo Banac, trans. Timothy D. Sergay, Jane T. Hedges, and Irina Faion (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2003), 305–7.

[17]. The Russian original: Unsigned, “O Kommunisticheskoy Politicheskoy Assotsiatsii SShA [On the Communist Political Association of the USA],” Byulleten’ Byuro Informatsi Tsk VKP(b): Voproy Vneshney Politiki [Bulletin of the Information Bureau of the CC RCP(b): Issues of Foreign Policy], no. 2 (January 1945); manuscript translation entitled of the Russian article into French, “Au suject de l’Association Politique Communiste des Etats-Unis” attached to a printer’s page proof of the Russian article and to a cover letter dated 19 January 1945 in RGASPI 17-128-754; Jacques Duclos, “A Propos de la Dissolution Du P.C.A,” Cahiers Du Communisme nouvelle série 6 (April 1945); Jacques Duclos, “On the Dissolution of the American Communist Party,” Political Affairs 24 (July 1945).  See also Klehr, Haynes, and Anderson, The Soviet World, 91–106.

[18]. Daily Worker, 30 April 1946, p. 2.

[19]. B. Vronsky, “Conversations with CPUSA Politburo Member Morris Childs”, undated but attached to a 10 April 1947 memo, Russian State Archive of Socio-Political History (RGASPI) 17-128-1128.  Translation into English in Klehr, Haynes, and Anderson, The Soviet World, 265–68.  Claude Pepper, a U.S. Senator (Democrat) from Florida, was a prominent critic of President Truman’s Cold War policies, but he had no institutional ties to the Popular Front left and little interest in a third party.  Philip Murray, chief of the CIO as well as president of the United Steel Workers of America, tolerated Communists in the CIO (but not in his USWA) but was hostile to any threat to liberal unity in 1948. 

[20]. Panyushkin to A. A. Zhadanov and A.A. Kuznetsov, 10 April 1947, RGASPI 17-128-1128.  Reproduced in English translation in Klehr, Haynes, and Anderson, The Soviet World, 270–71.

[21]. He was latter arrested and executed in Stalin’s purge of Jewish “cosmopolitans.”

[22]. An account of Childs’ meeting with Lozovsky is in Philip J. Jaffe, The Rise and Fall of American Communism (New York: Horizon Press, 1975), 87–135.

[23]. A.A. Zhdanov, “On the International Situation,” Political Affairs (December 1947),  pp. 1095-96.

[24]. Peggy Dennis, The Autobiography of an American Communist: A Personal View of a Political Life, 1925–1975 (Westport, CT: L. Hill, 1977), 225.

[25]. Communist Party of the USA, “The Communist Party Convention,” Political Affairs 36 (April 1957): 3; William Z. Foster, “Draper’s ‘Roots of American Communism,’” Political Affairs 36 (May 1957): 37; Eugene Dennis, “Questions and Answers on the XXth Congress, CPSU,” Political Affairs 35 (April 1956): 24. These and additional similar quotations can be found in Aileen S. Kraditor, “Jimmy Higgins”: The Mental World of the American Rank-and-File Communist, 1930–1958 (New York: Greenwood Press, 1988), 85.

[26]. John Barron, Operation Solo: The FBI’s Man in the Kremlin (Washington, D.C.: Regnery Pub., 1995).


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