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Communism


  • Woody Guthrie's Communism and "This Land Is Your Land"

    by Aaron J. Leonard

    The author of a new book on the FBI's surveillance of folk musicians argues that Woody Guthrie did join the Communist Party, though he was at odds with leadership over discipline. The affiliation is reflected in the lyrics of his most famous song. 



  • Looking Out For Each Other

    by Leah Valtin-Erwin

    The wrenching transitions that East Germans faced in adapting to western commercial culture after reunification offer lessons for the COVID crisis, and a warning that the burdens of managing social change and stress often fall on retail workers. 



  • Europe in 1989, America in 2020, and the Death of the Lost Cause

    by David W. Blight

    We should not celebrate too much as monuments topple and old slave-auction blocks are removed. History did not end when the Soviet Union dissolved, and it will not end now, even if a vibrant movement sweeps a new age of civil rights into America. Most of all, we must remember what the Lost Cause is and was before we try to call it past.



  • Protest, Passion, Politics (Review Essay)

    "As protests work to remake the world, the reissue of Vivian Gornick’s The Romance of American Communism invites a new generation to reflect on what it means to live a life of political commitment—where the passionate pursuit of justice meets organized political action," writes Alan Wald, a reviewer of classic work of left political activism.


  • Turn out the Lights: When the Last American Diplomats Fled China

    by Joe Renouard

    The U.S. diplomats who left China in 1949 left oral histories that are now archived at the Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training. Their stories warning how how misunderstandings, misplaced hopes, and missed opportunities can poison relations between great powers.



  • The Forgotten Women of the Gulag

    A new book by Monika Zgustova brings the harrowing, heartbreaking history of the Soviet Gulag’s female prisoners to life.



  • The Truth About Stalin’s Prison Camps

    Vera Golubeva spent more than six years in one of Joseph Stalin’s gulag camps. Her crime? “To this day, I still don’t know,” she says.



  • The Price of Self-Delusion

    by Ronald Radosh

    Paul Robeson, the towering figure of American arts, athletics, and civil rights activism, was also an unapologetic Stalinist. Failing to acknowledge this checkered legacy ultimately does a disservice to the goals he fought for.