The Roots of American Communism


By Theodore Draper, Published in 1957



In this definitive history of the evolution of the Communist party in America—from its early background through its founding in 1919 to its emergence as a legal entity in the 1920s—Theodore Draper traces the native and foreign strains that comprised the party, its shifting policies, and its secret as well as its open activities. He makes clear how the party in its infancy “was transformed from a new expression of American radicalism to the American appendage of a Russian revolutionary power.” “An outstanding contribution to knowledge and understanding of the Communist movement in this country.”—George F. Kennan. “Provides the indispensable foundations for any understanding of American communism. Mr. Draper has unraveled the knotted threads of factionalism…and has presented the story with clarity, insight, and objectivity. He has woven all aspects—doctrinal, organizational, personal—into a coherent critical narrative.”—Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., New York Times. “An uncommonly good book.”—Sidney Hook.

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