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Communist Party of the United States of America (CPUSA)

Michael Goldfield


The Communist Party of the United States of America (CPUSA) is undoubtedly the most prominent and popular leftist party in US history. From the early 1930s to the early 1950s, it was an important influence in American society, not only in the labor movement and various protest movements, but also in cultural and artistic life, many state governments, and even for a short time in national politics. On the one hand, it was from the early 1920s to the late 1950s the dominant left-wing group in the United States, highly interracial and ethnically diverse, the most militant and successful of trade union organizers, the foremost fighter for equality for African Americans, women, and other minorities, as well as the leading proponent in the struggle of the unemployed, students, and others – laudatory credentials for many. It would also become the unabashed, uncritical apologist for the brutal crimes of the Stalin regime in the Soviet Union; it was the unrelenting, sometimes repressive, critic of those on the left, whether political opponents, writers, or artists, who did not agree with it completely on the Soviet Union and other matters. And these questions only scratch the surface of the controversies. The Communist Party was born in 1919, out of the left wing of the Socialist Party (SP), when the entrenched SP leadership refused to allow the left-wing majority to take control democratically ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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