The roots of American communism - Theodore Draper

Theodore Draper's incredibly detailed book about the many groups, factions and individuals that would form what became the Communist Party USA. Mostly focusing on the years 1917-1921, Draper traces the roots from the 'Left-Wing' of the Socialist Party of America and the IWW, to the Third International-linked CPUSA.

Submitted by Anonymous on October 6, 2013



10 years 4 months ago

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Submitted by dizzymonk on December 31, 2013

It's been years since I read this & Draper's sequel (the title of which escapes me right now). It's an important book, well-written, fully documented and objective. Draper himself was a member of CPUSA in the 'thirties, leaving the Party after the announcement of the Hitler-Stalin Pact. While remaining a social progressive, he maintained an anti-Stalinist position. His brother, Hal Draper, was among the Trots & wrote Karl Marx's Theory of Revolution, an important work that, while critical of Anarchism, does present the libertarian roots of Marxism.
Draper's tale of the ins & outs of the Bolshevik-inspired movement in the US Left plainly & without polemic, shows the demise & moral corruption of the Left in this country, which still suffers the effects of Leninism. One of the key histories of the US Left.


2 years 2 months ago

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Submitted by petey on March 14, 2022

I'm about half-way through it. It certainly is detailed. I would have no way of knowing is his recitation is accurate. There is this:
and this