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It was the rightwing's favorite boogie-man for decades--the Birchers accused virtually everyone of sympathizing with it, the FBI spied on it and disrupted it. Most of the Left hated it as well--it was joked that "when it rains in Moscow, the CPers all carry umbrellas". But the Communist Party USA, though it was small in number, always had an influence far larger than its actual size.

Foster-william-z-2

The central figure in the story of the Communist Party USA was William Z Foster. In 1901, at the age of 20, Foster, a factory worker who had lived in Pennsylvania, New York, Florida, Oregon and Massachusetts, joined Eugene V Debs's Socialist Party in Spokane, Washington. But his politics were far more radical than the Socialist Party's, and when he advocated revolution instead of the Party's electoral politics, Foster was expelled in 1909 as a "left-wing factionist". He then joined the IWW (the Industrial Workers of the World, or "Wobblies") during one of its Free Speech Fights in Washington. As a Wobbly, Foster wrote several pamphlets and served as the IWW's representative to the 1911 International Labor Conference in Budapest. Foster soon found himself differing from the IWW on tactical questions, however--the IWW viewed the American Federation of Labor (AFL) as weak and reformist, and wanted to build an alternative revolutionary labor union, while Foster thought it more effective to "bore within" the AFL's unions and turn them radical from the inside. His arguments against "dual unionism" led him to split with the IWW in 1911; he left and formed his own organization, the Syndicalist League of North America (SLNA).

Before the SLNA collapsed in 1914, Foster met two members who would always remain politically close to him, an accountant named Earl Browder, and another former Wobbly named James P Cannon.

Foster became an organizer for the Chicago branch of the Brotherhood of Railway Carmen, then worked as an organizer for the AFL. Unlike most other leftists of the time, Foster did not oppose US involvement in World War One, and even sold war bonds in 1918. As a result, when mass arrests of union organizers and leftists took place in 1918 and 1919, Foster was not one of those arrested. After the war, his primary interest was in organizing the large number of unskilled workers in Chicago's sprawling meatpacking and steel industries.

The first national labor organization in the US, the Knights of Labor, had already attempted to organize the meatpacking industry in the 1870's, and both the AFL and the IWW had made similar failed efforts more recently. But Foster recognized that the First World War presented a unique opportunity. Labor shortages caused by the war would make it more difficult for the companies to find scabs and strikebreakers. Meanwhile, the Federal government needed huge amounts of meat to feed its troops, and would be willing to see concessions made rather than interrupt production with a strike.

Foster decided to make his move in 1917. Within the Chicago Federation of Labor (CFL), the local AFL union council, he formed a Stockyards Labor Council which united all the various meatpacking craft unions into a single industrial-based organization, and called a strike. As he expected, the Wilson Administration stepped in quickly, pressuring the companies to make concessions and agree to arbitration--and threatening to seize the meatpacking plants as a wartime measure to keep production going, if necessary. As a result, the meatpacking workers won an eight-hour day, a large pay increase, and overtime pay. Membership in the Amalgamated Meat Cutter's Union soared.

The arbitration award had not forced the company to recognize the Union, however; in addition, internal strife soon weakened the organization, as the Amalgamated Meat Cutters craft union claimed all the new members for itself and repudiated the unity of the Stockyard Labor Council. When the war ended, the companies fired all the Union members, and, after a failed strike attempt in 1922, Foster's effort to organize the meatpacking industry came to an end.

Foster faced similar problems with his other big project--the effort to unionize the steel industry. The Chicago Federation of Labor, at Foster's urging, drew up a plan for a unified organizing body which would bring together all of the various craft unions under the Amalgamated Association of Iron, Tin and Steel Workers, and sent delegates to the national AFL to seek support. When the AFL national leadership proved to be unenthusiastic about the idea (the AFL had always supported craft unions against the industry-based unionism of the IWW), Foster and the CFL decided to go it alone, focusing their efforts on the steel plants near Gary, Indiana, and the Monongahela Valley near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In 1919, the strike began. It quickly spread to Ohio, West Virginia and elsewhere, and within weeks over half the American steel industry was idled.

But with the end of the First World War, the situation had now changed. The steel companies flatly refused to negotiate or recognize the Union, and the federal government now once again supported the companies. In this era of the Palmer Raids, the Red Scare and the IWW Trials, Foster's previous association with the IWW was trumpeted by the companies. In Gary, Indiana, General Leonard Wood imposed martial law, while in Pennsylvania, strikers were beaten and arrested. Fourteen unarmed strikers were killed. The national AFL, led by Samuel Gompers, refused to provide financial support, and as strike funds ran out, Foster called off the strike in January 1920, and resigned his organizer post with the Chicago Federation of Labor. It was a crushing defeat--for the labor movement as well as for Foster.

One of Foster's fiercest critics during the steel strike, however, was the newly-formed Communist Party.

After the Russian Revolution in 1917, Lenin and the Bolsheviks enjoyed widespread support in the American labor and socialist movements. While a few American leftists (mostly Anarchists and Syndicalists) challenged the dictatorial centralized "leadership" of the Russian Communists, most viewed the Soviet Government as a true workers' democracy. As a result, the American socialist movement was split, as a new faction, led by John Reed and Louis C Fraina, wanted to give up the Socialist Party's reliance on peaceful electoral methods, emulate instead the example of Lenin's Communist Party, and organize for immediate Revolution in the US. By 1919, most of the Socialist Party membership were Bolshevik supporters, and a referendum proposing that the Socialist Party affiliate with the Communist International (Comintern), the international organization formed by the Leninists to support the Russian Revolution, passed with over 90% of the vote. The Socialist Party's "moderate" leadership responded by expelling nearly two-thirds of the entire membership and called an emergency Party convention in Chicago.

The expelled members, led by John Reed, crashed the convention and demanded to be reinstated as members. The Party leadership called the police to escort Reed and his supporters out, and the entire left-wing faction then walked out, met together in an empty hall nearby, and formed the Communist Labor Party. At the same time, another group led by Louis C Fraina refused to attend the Socialist Party convention, and instead formed their own Communist Party of America. Later, in 1921, the two parties, under orders from the Comintern, joined together to form the Communist Party USA.

Many of the more militant organizers within the union movement quickly joined the new Communist Party, and as a result the Party kept a close eye on the biggest fight in the labor arena at that time--the 1919 steel strike. Convinced that the Revolution was imminent in America, the Communists called for workers to turn the steel strike into a national general strike to seize power. The American Federation of Labor was castigated as reformists and sellouts, and Foster himself was lampooned in the Communist Party publications as "E Z Foster" for his presumed willingness to cave in to the AFL's timidity.

After the defeat of the 1919 steel strike, however, the Communists took a new look at its organizer, William Z Foster. In 1920, several old friends of Foster's who were now members of the Communist Party, including a number of former Wobblies, met with him and formed a new organization together, the Trade Union Educational League (TUEL), with the aim of agitating within the existing AFL craft unions for militant industrial unionism. Foster was invited to Moscow to attend the conference of the Profintern, the international organization of Communist-supported trade unions, where he was appointed to be the Profintern representative in the US. Foster joined the Communist Party when he returned to the US, and the Trade Union Education League was soon accepted as a Profintern affiliate.

In 1923, the Chicago Federation of Labor, now directed by John Fitzpatrick, called for a convention to establish a left-wing Farmer-Labor Party, which soon began contesting local elections. The Communist Party, in turn, directed Foster and his TUEL to gain influence within the new group, and Foster dutifully packed the Farmer-Labor convention with Communist Party supporters, leading Fitzpatrick and the CFL to abandon the group. The Farmer-Labor Party collapsed.

The Communist Party's machinations not only led to a permanent split between Foster and his friend Fitzpatrick--it produced a backlash within the AFL against all the Communists. Wherever TUEL formed a caucus within an existing AFL union, they were expelled.

This debate led to faction fights within the Communist Party, and Foster, with the aid of James P Cannon, was able to win control of the Party's leadership. In 1925, however, the Russians at the Comintern sent their own observers to the Communist Party's convention, and removed Foster from leadership, replacing him with his rival Charles Ruthenberg. Years of factional fighting began, as rival Stalinist groups fought with each other, as well as expelling suspected Trotskyites.

The Communist Party, meanwhile, was also steadily losing its influence within the labor movement. After a failed strike in 1925, the International Ladies Garment Workers Union (ILGWU) drove out all its Communist members. The Communist Party also backed a failed attempt by insurgent candidate John Brophy to wrest control of the United Mine Workers of America from John L Lewis, which led to retaliation and expulsion. And the AFL leadership continued to remove Communists wherever it found them.

The biggest blow came in 1928, when the Comintern ordered that its international affiliates stop supporting existing trade unions and form their own rival revolutionary unions instead. It was the very "dual unionism" that Foster had disagreed with since his IWW days, but, bowing to Moscow's wishes, Foster disbanded TUEL, and set up a "Trade Union Unity League" to organize Communist-led labor unions in opposition to the existing AFL unions. The effort failed miserably.

As a result of all the chaos, Communist Party membership fell by almost three-fourths. By 1932, there were only some 5,000 members remaining in the Communist Party--and over one-fourth of those were FBI informants.

The American labor movement, meanwhile, was being revitalized by two factors--Franklin D Roosevelt's New Deal, and the Congress of Industrial Organizations.

One of FDR's primary tasks in combating the Great Depression was the maintenance of labor peace and the avoidance of disruptive strikes. Realizing that the cause of most strikes was the company's refusal to recognize the unions, the New Deal introduced a package of laws that established the legality of labor unions and put machinery into place through which unions could gain legal recognition, making the company legally obligated to bargain with it. The result was a huge surge in union organizing during the 30's. And prominent among these efforts was the CIO.

In November 1935, United Mine Workers President John L Lewis called together a number of other AFL unions, including the Oil Workers, the ILGWU, and the United Textile Workers, to form a caucus within the AFL called the Committee of Industrial Organizations, which would attempt to organize the basic industries, such as steel and autos, along industrial rather than craft lines--all the workers in any industry, regardless of their craft job, were to be in the same union. The CIO's first success was in the electrical industry, where the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America (UE) successfully fought a strike at the General Electric plant in Schenectady, New York. Within a year, UE had over 600,00 members in 1300 different plants across the country.

The next move planned by the CIO was an organizing campaign in the steel industry, where Foster had failed almost 20 years before. Just as the Steel Workers Organizing Committee (SWOC) began its work, however, an unplanned war broke out in Flint, Michigan, where the United Auto Workers carried out a daring sit-down strike that occupied the General Motors body parts plant, shut down GM's entire production, and held it for 44 days before forcing the company to recognize and bargain with the Union. Buoyed by the UAW's success, the CIO was able to obtain recognition of the United Steel Workers Union from the US Steel Company simply by threatening the same disruption and loss of production.

In 1938, the CIO renamed itself the Congress of Industrial Organizations and left the AFL, forming its own rival union confederation.

Many of the CIO's organizers were Communist Party members, and the flagging CP-USA now saw the union movement as a way to revitalize itself (the Communist Party had also made some gains among Hollywood actors and script-writers and some American academics). At this point, however, the subordination of the American Communist Party to Stalin's foreign policy goals took center stage, and it was disastrous.

By 1935, the Soviet Union began to be alarmed by Hitler's Germany, and directed its affiliates to carry out a "Popular Front" policy, in which Communist Parties would work together with other parties to oppose fascism. As part of this directive, the Comintern also gave up its opposition to existing labor unions (which allowed Communist Party members to become organizers for the CIO).

In 1939, however, Stalin signed a Non-Aggression Pact with Hitler, and Comintern policy changed literally overnight. Now, affiliated Communist Parties were directed to focus all their efforts on preventing war and opposing military efforts against the Nazis.

In June 1941, however, the Nazis invaded Russia, and Comintern policy quickly flip-flopped yet again. Now, Communist Parties everywhere were called upon to help defend the Socialist Motherland. Comintern-affiliated unions were instructed to make "no-strike" pledges so war production would not be hampered--the CP-USA went so far as to oppose the civil rights March on Washington that was being organized by A Philip Randolph to demand equal treatment on the job for African-Americans.

At the end of the war, the Communist Party, now led by Earl Browder, attempted to gain some independence from Moscow, and tried to set his own policies that reflected the circumstances within the US. In response, Browder was ousted in 1945 by a Comintern-organized coup, and was replaced by the most loyal Stalin-supporter the Russians could find--William Z Foster. Foster dutifully defended the 1956 Soviet invasion of Hungary, and actively purged the CP of Troyskyites.

In 1949, the Federal government filed charges of subversion against Foster, his lieutenant Eugene Dennis, and several other CP leaders. Foster, although indicted and charged, was not put on trial due to his frail health. The others were convicted and sentenced to jail. As a result, much of the Party membership went underground to avoid prosecution, which only left it with dwindling numbers and isolated it from any real political action. The final blow came when the CIO expelled all its left-leaning unions and purged its ranks of Communists, requiring all its members to sign pledges that they were not CP members. In 1955, the CIO rejoined with the AFL to form the AFL-CIO.

In 1957, William Z Foster retired as head of the Communist Party and handed over control to his protege, a steel worker named Gus Hall. Under Hall's leadership, the CP-USA, now shrunken to a tiny remnant and riddled with FBI informants, would remain a pliant mouthpiece for Moscow until the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.

William Z Foster died in September 1961, at the height of the Cold War, during a trip to the USSR. He was given a state funeral by the Soviets, and his ashes were interred in the Kremlin Wall.

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Comment Preferences

  •  a useful and interesting book would be on the (6+ / 0-)

    proportion of informants to actual members during this period

    In 1957, William Z Foster retired as head of the Communist Party and handed over control to his protege, a steel worker named Gus Hall. Under Hall's leadership, the CP-USA, now shrunken to a tiny remnant and riddled with FBI informants, would remain a pliant mouthpiece for Moscow until the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "If we appear to seek the unattainable, then let it be known that we do so to avoid the unimaginable." (@eState4Column5)

    by annieli on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 01:32:58 PM PDT

    •  asdf (8+ / 0-)
      1960 Inspection Report
      “Since February 18, 1959, considerable increase in development of ‘Double Agents’ (26) and potential (36)…Security informant coverage increased to 1507 (1439 as of 3/1/59).  Live informants in Communist Party (CP) increased from 412 last inspection to 433 or 7.86% of estimated Party membership (5531).”

      04/23/70 Inspection Report by W. Mark Felt

      “Violent racial extremist activities continue to increase…Black Panther Party expanding and brazenly advocating overthrow of Government by force.  Case load up 5.16%; racial and ghetto informants increased 12.8%...Division has vigorously pressed investigation of New Left terrorists and contributed to 7 convictions and 18 additional indictments arising out of violence at the Democratic Convention in Chicago.”

      “Total security matters pending in field 3/31/70 – 37,746, up substantially from year ago. Security and potential security informants decreased slightly attributable to Bureau-wide stress on quality…67 double agents currently being operated against Soviets (66 last inspection). 207 under development as potential double agents (218 last inspection). 5 defectors in place, all out of country at present time…Informants on Chinese intelligence matters increased to 103 from 64 last inspection. 61 double agents furnish valuable information on 7 satellite countries—same as last inspection.”

      Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "If we appear to seek the unattainable, then let it be known that we do so to avoid the unimaginable." (@eState4Column5)

      by annieli on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 02:03:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  from my own experience, I know that it (10+ / 0-)

      only takes a few informants to really cover any organization. My FBI files show things that were said in conversations with only four or five people present. And none of those present may even have been informants--all it takes is one person to talk to someone else (who then talks to someone else) and the informants can catch it.

      For myself, I have always simply operated on the assumption that the Feds and the cops always know everything. The whole effort to sniff out the informers is a fool's errand--it never succeeds anyway since any informer can be replaced, and the search for informers too often just turns into a witch hunt that sows distrust, makes everyone paranoid, causes pointless internal strife, distracts everyone from the real fight, and does far more damage to the organization than the actual informer ever does. (As we can clearly see with all the idiotic shill-hunting and heretic-burnings that regularly go on here at DKos.)

      In the end, reality always wins.

      by Lenny Flank on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 02:59:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  why disinformation and (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Lenny Flank, thanatokephaloides

        terror actually are efficient

        For myself, I have always simply operated on the assumption that the Feds and the cops always know everything. The whole effort to sniff out the informers is a fool's errand--it never succeeds anyway since any informer can be replaced, and the search for informers too often just turns into a witch hunt that sows distrust, makes everyone paranoid, causes pointless internal strife, distracts everyone from the real fight, and does far more damage to the organization than the actual informer ever does. (As we can clearly see with all the idiotic shill-hunting and heretic-burnings that regularly go on here at DKos.)

        Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "If we appear to seek the unattainable, then let it be known that we do so to avoid the unimaginable." (@eState4Column5)

        by annieli on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 03:09:19 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I heard that after Khrushchev's 1956 secret speech (5+ / 0-)

      on the crimes of the Stalin era, which Khrushchev euphemistically called the "cult of personality," the decisive votes to keep the CPUSA loyal to Moscow were cast by the FBI agents.

      I don't know whether or not that was intended as a joke, but keeping the CP in the Soviet orbit was in the agents' material interest, assuring them job security.

      There's no such thing as a free market!

      by Albanius on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 05:42:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  they did have a vested interest in their jobs /nt (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Lenny Flank, Gooserock

        Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "If we appear to seek the unattainable, then let it be known that we do so to avoid the unimaginable." (@eState4Column5)

        by annieli on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 08:45:10 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Vivian Gornick's 1979 book (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Lenny Flank

        The Romance of American Communism, recounted a number of interviews with former CPUSA members who had left at various times due to reversals in policy or murderous acts by Stalin or whatever. She said that everyone claimed to have left at the Objective Moment, and they had quite insulting stock phrases that everybody used for those who quit too soon or stayed loyal too long.

        Typical jargon, like Leftist Adventurist and Capitalist Running Dog, which are actually from other Communist parties. I don't have the book and cannot remember what the phrases actually were.

        Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

        by Mokurai on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 12:16:41 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  The joke was that J. Edgar Hoover ordered (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Gooserock

      all FBI agents out of the party, which promptly collapsed for lack of dues-paying members.

      Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

      by Mokurai on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 12:08:12 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks for this. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TomP, Lenny Flank, thanatokephaloides

    Play chess for the Kossacks on Chess.com. Join the site, then the group at http://www.chess.com/groups/view/kossacks.

    by rhutcheson on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 01:50:49 PM PDT

  •  Excellent history. (7+ / 0-)

    Many lessons to be learned from that history.  

    One is the belief in 1919 that revolution was immanent in the US.  They read Marx as prophesy and ignored conditions in the US.  In fact, it ushered in an almost 15-year period of reaction.  

    Some CPUSA members did good work in organizing unions, but I suspect it was in spite of the CPUSA at times.  The flip-flops for Stalin had to destroy the support of thinking people.  But it had become "religion" to some, so they followed.  

    In some ways, CPUSA was contrary to Marx's philosophical bent.  The whole Lenin/Stalin/Trotsky road was a detour, I think.    

    Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

    by TomP on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 02:02:35 PM PDT

    •  my considered view, as a former member of the (7+ / 0-)

      RCP, PLP and SWP, is that none of the various Stalinist/Trot/Maoists groupuscules could ever organize their way out of a wet paper bag.

      They are more like fundamentalist churches than political organizations, and their favorite activity is heretic-hunting.

      It's where I got my long-standing and deep-rooted utter contempt for ideologues of any sort.

      In the end, reality always wins.

      by Lenny Flank on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 03:02:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  RCP, PLP and SWP?! (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Lenny Flank, TomP, thanatokephaloides

        Wow, just wow.

        I congratulate you on your survival.

        To be fair, at least the PLP and the SWP had periods in which they were marginally effective during the Vietnam Era.

        Since then, though, your assessment is 100% correct, IMO.

        As the British would say; "They couldn't organize a piss up at a brewery."

        Nothing human is alien to me.

        by WB Reeves on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 03:27:25 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I always admired Foster (6+ / 0-)

    for his valiant efforts to organize in the packinghouses and steel mills.

    He seemed like a level-headed fellow, but at that time in the 20s, the CP may have looked like a progressive path to follow.

    Oh, woe. He could been another Harry Bridges.

    Thanks for the diary about this important figure in American labor history.

    “The answer must be, I think, that beauty and grace are performed whether or not we will or sense them. The least we can do is try to be there.” ― Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

    by 6412093 on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 02:21:39 PM PDT

    •  at the time, the CP was really the only game (6+ / 0-)

      left in town: the IWW and Socialist Party had been destroyed by the Palmer Raids and by internal schism, the Populist and Progressive Parties were in decline, and the New Deal was stealing most of the Left's thunder. If you were a radical socialist in the 20's and 30's, there really was nowhere else to go except the CP or the Trots.

      In the end, reality always wins.

      by Lenny Flank on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 02:53:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  And the trots were less than a handful, (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        petral, Lenny Flank

        but what a handful!! Muste, the Dobbs bros.,  etc.

        “The answer must be, I think, that beauty and grace are performed whether or not we will or sense them. The least we can do is try to be there.” ― Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

        by 6412093 on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 10:00:06 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I have an odd, distant, possible connection to ... (5+ / 0-)

    I have an odd, distant, possible connection to some of this -- according to family legend, one of my great-uncles was gunned down in Cleveland, supposedly for trying to start some type of communist revolution. My personal theory on it is that he was probably killed over union activities (possibly commie-linked), since also according to family legend, most of that side of the family fled the old country (Lithuania) because they were targeted for bad stuff by the new bosses...

    Apologies if this is mostly blather...

    •  my family history is one of rebellion as well (6+ / 0-)

      On my father's side, my grandfather was an orphan who, according to family lore, came to the US after his parents were killed in the failed 1905 Russian revolution.

      On my mother's side, I am descended from John Jacob Mickley, the guy who took the Liberty Bell from Philadelphia to Allentown during the American Revolutionary War.

      I guess it's in my blood.  ;)

      In the end, reality always wins.

      by Lenny Flank on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 03:05:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Interesting (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lenny Flank, thanatokephaloides

    I recently finished Richard Rhodes books on the making of the atom and hydrogen bombs.  The second book got depressing for me as it placed a lot of emphasis on political infighting among the US scientists, how Oppenheimer was attacked, and how Stalin's little dictatorship used US traitors to cynically steal whatever industrial secrets they could get.   Don't much care for the Birchers and their ideas, especially not today's tea party version, but they were correct about a little dirty war going on.  

    Curious, but I guess not surprising, to see that Stalin and his cabal also co-opted much of the US labor movement to his own ends--while the FBI had 1/4 of all "communists" working s double agents.  Funny in a gallow's humor sort of way.  Woe to the common man.

    “Everyone is ignorant, only on different subjects.” ― Will Rogers

    by MugWumpBlues on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 02:56:46 PM PDT

  •  Very informative (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lenny Flank, TomP, thanatokephaloides

    I thought I knew a good bit about William Z. Foster but I wasn't aware that he had supported the US entry into WWI. Ironic that he would end up with the Bolsheviks since such "social patriotism" was anathema to them.

    Surprised you omitted any reference to Jay Lovestonethough. After all, his ousting was the first example of a Moscow engineered coup in the CP USA.

    Nothing human is alien to me.

    by WB Reeves on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 03:13:08 PM PDT

  •  Thank you for the effort and the details (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lenny Flank, thanatokephaloides

    you put in to this.

    A million Arcosantis.

    by Villabolo on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 05:17:39 PM PDT

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