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United States Communist History Bibliography, 2011

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Between 1944 and 1953, a power struggle emerged between New York governor Thomas Dewey and U.S. senator Robert Taft of Ohio that threatened to split the Republican Party. This book reveals how this two-man battle for control of the GOP—and the Republican presidential nomination—escalated into a divide of ideology that ultimately determined the party's political identity. Initially, the author argues, the separate Dewey and Taft factions endorsed fairly traditional Republican policies. However, as their conflict deepened, the normally mundane issues of political factions, such as patronage and fund-raising, were overshadowed by the question of what “true” Republicanism meant. Taft emerged as the more conservative of the two leaders, while Dewey viewed Taft's policies as outdated. Eventually, conservatives within the GOP organized against Dewey's leadership and, emboldened by the election of Dwight Eisenhower, transformed the party into a vehicle for the Right. The author reveals how this decade-long battle led to an outpouring of conservative sentiment that had been building since World War II, setting the stage for the ascendancy of Barry Goldwater and the modern conservative movement in the 1960s.
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Powerful labor movements played a critical role in shaping modern Hawaii, beginning in the 1930s, when International Longshore and Warehousemen's Union (ILWU) representatives were dispatched to the islands to organize plantation and dock laborers. They were stunned by the feudal conditions they found in Hawaii, where the majority of workers—Hawaiian, Japanese, Chinese, and Filipino in origin—were routinely subjected to repression and racism at the hands of white bosses. The wartime civil liberties crackdown brought union organizing to a halt; but as the war wound down, Hawaii workers' frustrations boiled over, leading to an explosive success in the forming of unions. During the 1950s, just as the ILWU began a series of successful strikes and organizing drives, the union came under McCarthyite attacks and persecution. In the midst of these allegations, Hawaii's bid for statehood was being challenged by powerful voices in Washington who claimed that admitting Hawaii to the union would be tantamount to giving the Kremlin two votes in the U.S. Senate, while Jim Crow advocates worried that Hawaii's representatives would be enthusiastic supporters of pro-civil rights legislation. Hawaii's extensive social welfare system and the continuing power of unions to shape the state politically are a direct result of those troubled times. This book details for the first time how radicalism and racism helped shape Hawaii in the twentieth century.
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In Wrestling with the Left, Barbara Foley presents a penetrating analysis of the creation of Invisible Man. In the process she sheds new light not only on Ralph Ellison’s celebrated novel but also on his early radicalism and the relationship between African American writers and the left during the early years of the cold war. Foley scrutinized thousands of pages of drafts and notes for the novel, as well as the author’s early journalism and fiction, published and unpublished. While Ellison had cut his ties with the Communist left by the time he began Invisible Man in 1945, Foley argues that it took him nearly seven years to wrestle down his leftist consciousness (and conscience) and produce the carefully patterned cold war text that won the National Book Award in 1953 and has since become a widely taught American classic. She interweaves her account of the novel’s composition with the history of American Communism, linking Ellison’s political and artistic transformations to his distress at the Communists’ wartime policies, his growing embrace of American nationalism, his isolation from radical friends, and his recognition, as the cold war heated up, that an explicitly leftist writer could not expect to have a viable literary career. Foley suggests that by expunging a leftist vision from Invisible Man, Ellison rendered his novel not only less radical but also less humane than it might otherwise have been.
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G. A. Cohen was one of the most gifted, influential, and progressive voices in contemporary political philosophy. At the time of his death in 2009, he had plans to bring together a number of his most significant papers. This is the first of three volumes to realize those plans. Drawing on three decades of work, it contains previously uncollected articles that have shaped many of the central debates in political philosophy, as well as papers published here for the first time. In these pieces, Cohen asks what egalitarians have most reason to equalize, he considers the relationship between freedom and property, and he reflects upon ideal theory and political practice. Included here are classic essays such as “Equality of What?” and “Capitalism, Freedom, and the Proletariat,” along with more recent contributions such as “Fairness and Legitimacy in Justice,” “Freedom and Money,” and the previously unpublished “How to Do Political Philosophy.” On ample display throughout are the clarity, rigor, conviction, and wit for which Cohen was renowned. Together, these essays demonstrate how his work provides a powerful account of liberty and equality to the left of Ronald Dworkin, John Rawls, Amartya Sen, and Isaiah Berlin.
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This book, a dual biography and cultural history, traces the influence of two southern activist preachers, one black and one white, who used their ministry to organize the working class in the 1930s and 1940s across lines of gender, race, and geography. Owen Whitfield and Claude Williams, along with their wives, Zella Whitfield and Joyce Williams, drew on their bedrock religious beliefs to stir ordinary men and women to demand social and economic justice in the eras of the Great Depression, New Deal, and Second World War. In chronicling the shifting contexts of the actions of Whitfield and Williams, this book situates Christian theology within the struggles of some of America's most downtrodden workers, transforming the dominant narratives of the era and offering a fresh view of the promise and instability of religion and civil rights unionism.
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Lorraine Hansberry's concerns about peace issues have been largely neglected in previous scholarship. Absorbing the views of the Communist left of the post-World War II era, particularly those of Paul Robeson and W. E. B. Du Bois, and coupling these with her personal abhorrence of war and violence, she expressed a commitment to peace that was evident from the Progressive Party campaign of 1948 until her untimely death in 1965. Her focus on opposing U. S. Cold War policies — including support for European colonialism, the war in Korea, and the buildup of nuclear weapons — was of necessity combined with opposition to McCarthyist measures intended to silence such opposition. Hansberry was not alone in making a long-term commitment to the “fight for peace” (as it was called during the 1948 presidential campaign), and recognizing the way in which she and her contemporaries linked peace and freedom enriches their legacy.
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In this essay, we revisit one of the most radical literary expressions of American modernism, Richard Wright's Native Son, to address the critical relationship between (writing) Blackness and (in) racial America. We highlight Wright's use of the rhetoric of blindness and vorticity in Bigger's tortuous and deadly journey from racial immurement to self-redemption. This redemption, we contend, is achieved in the problematic Book Three through the will to self-authorship, the one antidote against the scripting of Bigger's life by the ravages of racialism in America.
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Through an examination of letters to-the-editor and opinion pieces in college student newspapers in the period 1947 – 1954, this dissertation analyzes the response of college liberals to the Red Scare of the late 1940s and early 1950s. It establishes that the liberal response to rightwing attacks was defensive, aimed at warding off efforts to conflate liberalism with communism, but not at striking back at the opposing ideology of conservative itself. The dissertation then goes on to examine the language used in the interchanges between rightwing anticommunists and moderate liberals, finding that those interchanges did not constitute an effort to persuade but rather an effort to discredit, destroy, with the goal of establishing ideological hegemony, an ideological monopoly, so to speak. The evidence shows that the battle was waged over conflicting versions of freedom and constituted an attempt by each side to lay exclusive claim to that word. The connection between freedom, individualism, Americanism, and the institution of private property are explored, and the work of sociologist Emile Durkheim is employed to demonstrate that rightwing anticommunists and moderate liberals actually subscribed to two different and mutually incompatible patterns of sociation, making the conflict much more profound and less open to reconciliation than a simple difference of opinion would have been. In an effort to understand the liberal response, the dissertation continues on to examine liberal ideology, finding the combination of the liberal adherence to both pragmatism and political pluralism to have been responsible for the weakness of this response.
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World War II saw more than one million African Americans in military service, and by 1944 racial tensions within the rigidly segregated army were so problematic that the War Department was forced to prohibit racial discrimination in recreational and transportation facilities in a bid to ease the situation. Black leaders utilized the racial intolerance highlighted by the war in what was referred to as the “double V” campaign: African Americans were urged to support the war effort and ensure victory over fascism abroad, while maintaining the fight against segregation and discrimination for a victory over Jim Crow in America.1 Although conditions for African Americans in the military did improve somewhat as the war progressed and they were increasingly able to hold combat rather than menial positions, there was continual racial harassment and little opportunity for career advancement. Perhaps even worse was the fact that many soldiers returned home after honorable service to find themselves expected to use separate bathrooms and train compartments.
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Nineteenth-century domestic scientists such as Mrs. Henry Ward Beecher, Catherine Beecher, and Harriet Beecher Stowe believed that “God’s design” for the home had everything to do with God’s design for women.1 While the conceptions of home and family familiar to the Beechers and Stowe (and ourselves) did not develop until during what Lukács calls the “Bourgeois Age” (1450–1950), the seemingly natural connection between the maternal body and domestic space was and is compelling (624).2 Elaine Scarry’s celebratory description of “shelter” makes this clear: “an enlargement of the body,” the room keeps “warm and safe the individual it houses in the same way the body encloses and protects the individual within”; its walls prevent “undifferentiated contact with the world,” and secure “for the individual a stable internal space” (38–39). Scarry’s “body” is ungendered, but the imagery implies a maternal body, one that (like Mrs. Beecher’s homemaker) provides a “refuge” in her person and in her home. This slippage in the definitions of home and homemaker has great implications for female identity. Both physically and symbolically, the job of homemaker is to maintain order, purity, and comfort in the house and the family, to patrol the borders between home and the street (the dirty, menacing public world). This task is crucial, for a clean, pure, comfortable home “has served to represent the place in which to cultivate a refined sense of the self” (Ryan Women in Public 7).
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With Philadelphia as my focus, I argue that after World War II, in those northern cities where black southern migrants crowded into “second ghettoes,” cultural institutions created as much fracture as they did black unity, modernity or nationalism. Even before the 1960s, when divisions along generational, political and religious lines began to manifest more clearly, newspapers and radio revealed that there were multiple black communities as opposed to just one. Editors and general managers, and later music producers, directors of community art centers and museum founders wrestled with how to appeal to non-elite blacks. Most often, their methods were driven by ideologies—both real and perceived—of interracial liberalism, uplift, and respectability. For the most part, they built on a legacy of black elite institutions in Philadelphia, rather than create a new cultural infrastructure that incorporated a wider scope of tastes, practices and politics. Using sources that range from polls and planning documents to music and dance performances, my dissertation examines black cultural institutions in post-WWII Philadelphia with attention to their politics, cultural products, institutional forms, and place in the racial geography of the city. It thus answers the recent call by social historians to examine the role of the arts in urban places, and enlarges the story of African Americans in the post-industrial city through an emphasis on cultural production and the class politics that shaped it.
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Despite Bayard Rustin's long record at the forefront of the African American freedom struggle, in 1968 he distanced himself from black activists. The call for community control for both reflected and propelled the growing power of nationalist ideas and ideals among African Americans across the United States. The argument of Rustin's estrangement from old allies reflected a profound shift in his politics and in the movements of 1960s stands in contrast to much recent scholarship. Of late, historians have highlighted the essential continuity in Rustin's career and in the broader flow of recent American history. Their accounts have generated nuanced understandings of the interplay of integration and Black Nationalism in the African American struggle for social justice and of the enduring presence of both democratic ideals and racial inequality in American life.
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This chapter examines the ways in which Robeson utilized creative performative strategies to circumvent his confinement in the United States during the early Cold War. Despite persistent government repression, Robeson maintained his internationalist antifascist analysis which emphasized civil rights for African Americans and self-determination for Africans. The final monologue of Othello remained prominent in his Cold War repertoire, reflecting the importance of that role in his artistic legacy and the capricious passport ban which prevented him from again donning Othello’s robes onstage.
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The chapter discusses the Scottsboro case of 1931 and the continued failure to pass antilynching laws in the United States throughout the 1940s. It puts on view Hughes's fury against the practice of lynching as well his reaction to the Scottsboro case, which brought to life a poem “Christ in Alabama.” It moves ahead to the imagery in the poem to document its controversial nature and effect on immediate advertising losses suffered by the poem's first publisher. Furthermore, the chapter moves on to look into Hughes's “The Bitter River.” It examines the time in which he wrote one of the longest poems of his career, which was in response to the lynchings of two fourteen-year-old boys, Ernest Green and Charlie Lang.
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This chapter shows that the African Blood Brotherhood's global vision was not unique. The belief that a pressing need existed for a global movement of black people was widely held and had existed for some time. Alexander Walters, the African Methodist Episcopal bishop who presided over the 1900 London Pan-African Conference convened by the Trinidadian barrister Henry Sylvester Williams, echoed the sentiments of many when he said that the race needed “a great National and International organization” that could “incorporate in its membership the ablest and most aggressive representatives of African descent in all lands.” Such sentiment prompted W. E. B. Du Bois to resurrect the Pan-African Congress movement and Marcus Garvey to create his Universal Negro Improvement Association.
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This chapter discusses the Old Guard and how it continued to undermine Thomas Dewey's control of the Republican Party. The congressional statement of policy had checked Dewey's plans to reshape the GOP as a moderate alternative to the New Deal and forced RNC chairman Herbert Brownell to change his tone or risk appearing out of step with the party he led. With the congressional elections of 1946 looming, the national chairmanship became even more critical for the presidential nomination. Midterm elections were essentially trial runs. Mounting a strong off-year campaign would demonstrate to party elites that a candidate's organization could manage a successful national election drive and make a strong case for their continued control. In April 1946 the Taftites capitalized on a bit of good timing and increased discontent with the Dewey faction to seize the chairmanship of the RNC.
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This chapter describes how the black citizens of South Dallas suffered more than fifteen racially motivated bombings in 1950. Like bombings in Birmingham, Alabama, and other southern cities, the terrorist acts in Dallas stemmed from the migration of blacks out of overcrowded segregated neighborhoods and into areas zoned for white use. In South Dallas, however, two of the main suspects were Mexican American men who felt threatened by the encroachment of African American families into white neighborhoods. One of these individuals, Pete Garcia, later admitted that he had painted “For Whites Only” signs in the neighborhood, threatened black home buyers with a knife, and chased two African American real estate agents out of the area.
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This ambitious literary history traces the American novel from its emergence in the late eighteenth century to its diverse incarnations in the multi-ethnic, multi-media culture of the present day. In a set of original essays by renowned scholars from all over the world, the volume extends important critical debates and frames new ones. Offering new views of American classics, it also breaks new ground to show the role of popular genres-such as science fiction and mystery novels-in the creation of the literary tradition. One of the original features of this book is the dialogue between the essays, highlighting cross-currents between authors and their works as well as across historical periods. While offering a narrative of the development of the genre, the History reflects the multiple methodologies that have informed readings of the American novel and will change the way scholars and readers think about American literary history. © Cambridge University Press 2011 and Cambridge University Press, 2011.
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When John Steinbeck's masterwork The Grapes of Wrath was published in 1939, the Communist Party's Daily Worker applauded it beneath the headline, “The Grapes of Wrath is a Great Proletarian Novel.” The reviewer's uncritical admiration was effusive: It is at once a monumental protest against the horrors of a profit system whose high priests oppose the New Deal, unionization, and relief, and an infinitely compassionate portrait of the masses who suffer under the system. But out of their suffering, Steinbeck shows, will grow a great movement to restore the land to the people-It is hard to think of a more satisfying proletarian novel in America. A few weeks later, the Party-sponsored weekly magazine New Masses put forward a more systematic appraisal by Granville Hicks, a public member of the Party and author of the notable Marxist critical study The Great Tradition: An Interpretation of American Literature since the Civil War (1933; revised 1935). Hicks's verdict was identical: Hitherto, whenever anybody asked us what we meant by proletarian literature, we had to say, “Well, it ought to have this quality that you find in so-and-so's work, and that quality so exemplified by the other fellow, and such-and-such found in somebody else”-We shan't have to offer that kind of composite illustration any more. We can now say, “Proletarian literature? Oh, that means a book like John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath. © Cambridge University Press 2011 and Cambridge University Press, 2011.
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In 1942, May Quinn, a civics teacher at Public School 227 in Brooklyn, read an anti-Semitic leaflet titled "The First Americans" in her class. The publication listed the names of "brave Americans" during wartime. Absent from the list of those who served honorably during wartime were Jewish Americans, which was particularly unusual in a city with a notable Jewish population. The leaflet also contained the names of Americans who performed dishonorable acts, and all the names that Quinn read to her class from the leaflet that day were Jewish. Quinn also praised Hitler and Mussolini. She called Jews a "dull race," and Italians "greasy," and she praised the cause of racial segregation.1 The New York City Teachers Union (TU) highlighted the Quinn affair in its weekly publication, New York Teacher News, by placing the episode into a wartime context. In one issue of the paper it was reported that Quinn's fourteen accusers blamed her for inciting racial tension, creating disunity, and undermining the war effort. The fourteen teachers also charged their colleague with spreading "defeatist propaganda and anti-Semitic slanders in the classroom." New York Teacher News pointed to the fact that she was defended by the Educational Signpost, the organ of the profascist American Education Association. Milo McDonald, the principal of Bushwick High School, who was associated with the rabid anti-Semitic priest Father John Coughlin, headed this group. New York Teacher News also pointed out that McDonald even wrote for the National Republic, a publication edited by Walter S. Steele, a man who, the United States secretary of the Interior, Harold Ickes, claimed, belonged to a "Fascist ring in America." Thus, Quinn was in close contact with those whom the union labeled "seditious forces" and implied were pro-Nazi fifth columnists conspiring with the enemies abroad.2 The Quinn incident was not simply portrayed by the union as proof of a bigoted school employee who should be fired for her outlandish acts. The incident was also described as a flagrant act of disloyalty during wartime. Quinn was depicted as an adversary of the American people, someone who had committed treasonous acts. Thus, her crime was more than an act of racial bigotry or the upholding of white supremacy; her transgression threatened the very existence of the United States during a time of crisis. To be sure, May Quinn was characterized by the TU as un-American. The TU saw bigotry itself as un-American. The New York Teachers Union was organized in 1916 by a group of teachers who believed that the interests of teachers could be best served by collective action. The year that it was organized, the TU received a charter from the American Federation of Teachers, becoming Local 5 and the first teachers' union in New York City. In its early years, social democrats, socialists, Communists, and liberals made up the TU. However, in the early 1930s teachers who were members of the Communist Party organized the Rank and File Caucus and attempted to win control of the union. In 1935, after failing to convince the American Federation of Teachers to oust the Communists from the TU, the social democratic leadership of the union and 700 members split from Local 5 and formed a rival union, the Teachers Guild. Despite the schism and the fact that there were several other teachers' organizations operating in New York, the TU remained the largest teachers' union in the city. By 1940 the union had 6,034 members. Its closest rival, the Guild, had half that number.3 From 1936 through World War II, the union, in large part, shared the politics of the political and social movement known as the Popular Front. This movement, which began in 1935, was made up of a coalition of the Communist Party, the Socialist Party, independent socialists and leftists, the Congress of Industrial Organizations and other labor groups, antifascist groups, social democrats, and progressives who advocated New Deal programs to create a more egalitarian America. The movement championed several causes, including labor's right to organize, industrial democracy, support of the loyalist government in Spain, an independent Ethiopia, aiding refugees fleeing Hitler's Germany, and protesting lynching and other forms of racial terror.4 The TU had diligently championed the black freedom struggle since 1935, when the Communist-led Rank and File Caucus of the union gained control of the TU. Indeed, during the Popular Front years, Communists in the TU continued its crusade to save the lives of the young men sentenced to death in Scottsboro, Alabama. In particular the union promoted black history and culture, and it argued that this history disproved the claim that African Americans were a detriment to the nation and had contributed little to America. The union's approach was a means not only to prove that blacks were not inferior but to show that racial discrimination hurt the country because such discrimination deprived Americans of knowledge of the rich heritage of blacks and the great contribution they made to the country. However, the union challenged many forms of racial discrimination, including anti-Semitism. Leonard Dinnerstein notes that World War II led to a "rising tide of anti-Semitism" in the United States. The popularity of Father Charles Coughlin, who blamed Jewish bankers for the economic ills of the United States, and the publication of his magazine, Social Justice, which was used to lash out at Jews, was an indication of the growing anti-Semitism in the country. The Teachers Union, the membership of which was predominantly Jewish, was fully aware of the heightened anti-Semitism in the United States and therefore took action. Ruth Jacknow Markowitz contends that "anti-Semitism caused many Jewish teachers to become sensitive to the invidious effects of bigotry of all kinds." The explicit racist ideology of Nazi Germany and its racist genocidal actions made the issue of race a prominent subject of discussion during World War II. Of the 6,034 members of the TU, well over 5,000 were Jewish.5 The war provided TU members who led its antiracist campaign an opportunity to intensify its efforts. Nazism also gave the union's antiracist campaign an opening to point to the ongoing racial discriminatory polices and practices in the United States and particularly in the New York City school system.6 During the war the union continued all its prewar efforts. The Harlem Committee remained active and the union even helped form the Bedford-Stuyvesant-Williamsburg Council, a group made up of TU members and parents from the two Brooklyn neighborhoods. The organization pushed for the replacement of day-to-day substitute teachers with those who held regular licenses, full days of instruction for children, and an end to "discriminatory zoning." But the war changed the context of these antiracist struggles. Racism and bigotry were presented by the union as the intellectual property of fascists and Nazis. Their elimination was now part of a national war effort.
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Through a reconstruction of the mid-century careers of Nelson Algren and Ralph Ellison, Ragged Figures expands the identity of Marxism in U.S. literature beyond European theoretical orthodoxy, proletarian content, and social-protest form. These novelists revalue Marx???s minor concept of the lumpenproletariat as the central concept and literary figure of an alternative Marxist aesthetic, one grounded in the experiences and practices of marginalized peoples in the U.S during the Depression, World War II, and the Cold War. The lumpenproletariat (???proletariat in rags???) is one of Marxism???s more unstable concepts. Marx used the term to reference subjects who exist outside the labor-capital dialectic and who lack stable class identity: tramps, beggars, prostitutes, or the criminal underworld, for example. Because he deems such types marginal to the economic and political investments of Marxism, he deploys the term with a lack of empirical precision and a dismissive scorn. Reading Marx against the grain, and relying on the generative theoretical reformulations of Marxism undertaken by Louis Althusser, I re-theorize the lumpenproletariat as Marxism???s own name for the deconstructive productivity of the marginal. In its various political identities, its occupation of the gaps and interstices of social formations, and in the epistemological disruptions it poses to codified thought and ideology, the lumpenproletariat embodies a vantage point from beyond the margins of what orthodox Marxism knows, enabling situated revision and expansion of Marxism???s theoretical and political effectiveness. Algren and Ellison utilize both the experiences of lumpenproletarian characters???the ???ragged??? figures and populations shifting at the margins of U.S. society and ideological discourses???and this open-ended theoretical ???raggedness??? that the lumpenproletariat conceptualizes in order to do the work of figuring (out)???using the practical protocols of literary production and figurative language???contingent analyses of capitalism and attendant opportunities for resistance. By reconstituting Marxism around the figure of the lumpenproletariat and contingent re-imaginings of U.S. and African-American sociocultural realities and forms, Ellison and Algren produce an aesthetically-inventive, theoretically-adventurous mode of Marxist writing that forces us to reconsider the literary and political reputations of these writers and the unexpected presences of Marxism within U.S. and African-American literature and culture.
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Selected as a Choice Outstanding Academic Title for 2011 in the Central Eastern Europe category. The phrase "Cold War" was coined by George Orwell in 1945 to describe the impact of the atomic bomb on world politics: "We may be heading not for a general breakdown but for an epoch as horribly stable as the slave empires of antiquity." The Soviet Union, he wrote, was "at once unconquerable and in a permanent state of 'cold war' with its neighbors." But as a leading historian of Soviet foreign policy, Jonathan Haslam, makes clear in this groundbreaking book, the epoch was anything but stable, with constant wars, near-wars, and political upheavals on both sides. Whereas the Western perspective on the Cold War has been well documented by journalists and historians, the Soviet side has remained for the most part shrouded in secrecy-until now. Drawing on a vast range of recently released archives in the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Russia, and Eastern Europe, Russia's Cold War offers a thorough and fascinating analysis of East-West relations from 1917 to 1989. Far more than merely a straightforward history of the Cold War, this book presents the first account of politics and decision making at the highest levels of Soviet power: how Soviet leaders saw political and military events, what they were trying to accomplish, their miscalculations, and the ways they took advantage of Western ignorance. Russia's Cold War fills a significant gap in our understanding of the most important geopolitical rivalry of the twentieth century.
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Urban Underworlds is an exploration of city spaces, pathologized identities, lurid fears, and American literature. Surveying one hundred years of history, and fusing sociology, urban planning, and criminology with literary and cultural studies, it chronicles how and why marginalized populations-immigrant Americans in the Lower East Side, gays and lesbians in Greenwich Village and downtown Los Angeles, the black underclass in Harlem and Chicago, and the new urban poor dispersed across American cities-have been selectively targeted as "urban underworlds" and their neighborhoods characterized as miasmas of disease and moral ruin.
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Powerful labor movements played a critical role in shaping modern Hawaii, beginning in the 1930s, when International Longshore and Warehousemen's Union (ILWU) representatives were dispatched to the islands to organize plantation and dock laborers. They were stunned by the feudal conditions they found in Hawaii, where the majority of workers Hawaiian, Japanese, Chinese, and Filipino in origin were routinely subjected to repression and racism at the hands of white bosses. The wartime civil liberties crackdown brought union organizing to a halt; but as the war wound down, Hawaii workers frustrations boiled over, leading to an explosive success in the forming of unions. During the 1950s, just as the ILWU began a series of successful strikes and organizing drives, the union came under McCarthyite attacks and persecution. In the midst of these allegations, Hawaii's bid for statehood was being challenged by powerful voices in Washington who claimed that admitting Hawaii to the union would be tantamount to giving the Kremlin two votes in the U.S. Senate, while Jim Crow advocates worried that Hawaii's representatives would be enthusiastic supporters of pro civil rights legislation. Hawaii's extensive social welfare system and the continuing power of unions to shape the state politically are a direct result of those troubled times. Based on exhaustive archival research in Hawaii, California, Washington, and elsewhere, Gerald Horne's gripping story of Hawaii workers struggle to unionize reads like a suspense novel as it details for the first time how radicalism and racism helped shape Hawaii in the twentieth century. © 2011 by the University of Hawai'i Press. All rights reserved.
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Work and Struggle: Voices from U.S. Labor Radicalism focuses on the history of U.S. labor with an emphasis on radical currents, which have been essential elements in the working-class movement from the mid nineteenth century to the late twentieth century. Showcasing some of labor's most important leaders, Work and Struggle offers students and instructors a variety of voices to learn from -- each telling their story through their own words -- through writings, memoirs and speeches, transcribed and introduced here by Paul Le Blanc. This collection of revolutionary voices will inspire anyone interested in the history of labor organizing.
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Roosevelt’s New Deal introduced sweeping social, political and cultural change across the United States, which the Hollywood film community embraced enthusiastically. When the heady idealism of the 1930s was replaced by the paranoia and fear of the post-war years, Hollywood became an easy target for the anti-communists. A Divided World examines some of the important programs of the New Deal and the subsequent response of the Hollywood film community - especially in relation to social welfare, women’s rights and international affairs. The book then charts what happened in Hollywood when the mood turned sour as the Cold War set in. A Divided World also provides in-depth analysis of the major works of three European directors in particular - Billy Wilder, Ernst Lubitsch, and Fritz Lang. The contributions of these three are compared and contrasted with the products of mainstream Hollywood. The author utilizes extensive new archival material to shed light on the production histories of the emigres' films. This is a new interpretation of an influential period in American film history and it is sure to generate debate and further scholarship.
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Los Angeles in the 1930s returns to print an invaluable document of Depression-era Los Angeles, illuminating a pivotal moment in L.A.'s history, when writers like Raymond Chandler, Nathanael West, and F. Scott Fitzgerald were creating the images and associations-and the mystique-for which the City of Angels is still known. Many books in one, Los Angeles in the 1930s is both a genial guide and an addictively readable history, revisiting the Spanish colonial period, the Mexican period, the brief California Republic, and finally American sovereignty. It is also a compact coffee table book of dazzling monochrome photography. These whose haunting visions suggest the city we know today and illuminate the booms and busts that marked L.A.'s past and continue to shape its future.
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Sixty years ago political divisions in the United States ran even deeper than today. The Fear Within takes aim at one pivotal moment of that era: July 20, 1948 when FBI agents began rounding up twelve men whom the government believed posed a grave threat-the leadership of the Communist Party-USA. Scott Martelle's story is a compelling look at how American society, both general and political, reacts to stress and clamps down in times of crisis on the very beliefs it holds dear: the freedoms of speech and political belief.
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Stumbling Its Way through Mexico records the early attempts by the Moscow-based Communist International to organize and direct a revolutionary movement in Mexico. The period studied, from 1919 to 1929, was characterized at the beginning by a wave of revolutions in Europe that the Bolsheviks expected to grow into an international phenomenon. However, contrary to their expectations, the revolutionary tide ebbed, and the new age they had expected receded into an uncertain future. In response, Moscow sent agents and recruited local leaders worldwide to sustain and train local revolutionary movements and to foment what they saw as an inevitable seizure of power by Communist-led workers. Unlike the Soviet seizure of power in Russia, the Mexican Revolution of 1910-1920 had not changed the fundamental character of the nation-state. However, it did represent a sea change in the relationship between the state and society. When the Bolshevik Revolution broke out in Russia in 1917, Mexican workers already had generations of experience in the struggle against oppression, in forming class solidarity, in organizing strikes, and had tasted both success and failure. For decades in their workplaces, Mexicans had debated how to end the exploitation of labor and practice international solidarity. Mexico had an indigenous labor movement acting with some success to establish a place in a new Mexico. The agents that Moscow chose to lead the Communist movement in Mexico lacked an understanding of the local situation and presumed a lack of indigenous confidence and experience that doomed to failure their efforts to impose external control over the labor movement. Based on documents found principally in the Soviet archives recently opened to the public, Stumbling Its Way through Mexico is an invitation to rethink the history of Communism in Mexico and Latin America. Copublication with the Centro de Investigaciones y Estudios Superiores en Antropologia Social. Copyright © 2011 Centro de Investigaciones y Estudios Superiores en Antropología Social and The University of Alabama Press.
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Contemporary debates on the role of religion in American public life ignore the overlap between religion and race in the formation of American democratic traditions and more often than not imagine democracy within the terrain of John Rawls's political liberalism. This kind of political liberalism, which focuses on political commitments at the expense of our religious beliefs, fosters the necessary conditions to open historically closed doors to black bodies, allows blacks to sit at the King's table and creates the necessary safeguards for black protest against discrimination within a constitutional democracy. By implication of its emphasis on rights and inclusion, political liberalism assumes that the presence of black bodies signifies the materialization of a robust American democracy. However, political liberalism discounts the historical role of religion in forming and fashioning the nation's construction of race. This book argues that the collision between religion and politics during U.S. slavery and segregation created the fragments from which emerged a firm but shifting moral disdain for blackness within the nation's collective moral imagination. The very problem political liberals want to avoid, our comprehensive philosophy, is central to solving the moral crisis facing democracy.
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A. Philip Randolph's career as a trade unionist and civil rights activist fundamentally shaped the course of black protest in the mid-twentieth century. Standing alongside W. E. B. Du Bois, Marcus Garvey, and others at the center of the cultural renaissance and political radicalism that shaped communities such as Harlem in the 1920s and into the 1930s, Randolph fashioned an understanding of social justice that reflected a deep awareness of how race complicated class concerns, especially among black laborers. Examining Randolph's work in lobbying for the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, threatening to lead a march on Washington in 1941, and establishing the Fair Employment Practice Committee, Cornelius L. Bynum shows that Randolph's push for African American equality took place within a broader progressive program of industrial reform. Bynum interweaves biographical information with details on how Randolph gradually shifted his thinking about race and class, full citizenship rights, industrial organization, trade unionism, and civil rights protest throughout his activist career. © 2010 by the Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois. All rights reserved.