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Red Chicago: American Communism at its Grassroots, 1928-35 (The Working Class in American History)

3.73  ·  Rating Details ·  22 Ratings  ·  5 Reviews
Realities of the street-level American Communist experience during the worst years of the Depression Red Chicago is a social history of American Communism set within the context of Chicago's neighborhoods, industries, and radical traditions. Using local party records, oral histories, union records, party newspapers, and government documents, Randi Storch fills the gap betw ...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published November 12th 2007 by University of Illinois Press
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KCML
Apr 02, 2013 KCML rated it really liked it
An in depth look at the Communist Party, USA during the Third Period(1928-1935) in Chicago, where a third of it's members resided. The Party's successes could be measured in its high black participation based on it's correct stand on segregation, lynching and the national question. It's weakness in this period came from the lack of women in the party(10% overall), disproportionate amount of intellectuals and unemployed in the party, lack of union representation, and rabid sectarianism. The Party ...more
Jim
Nov 19, 2009 Jim rated it liked it
Somewhat academic, but absolutely fascinating account of the Communist Party and its activities with a focus on Chicago in the early years of the Depression.

The author demonstrates that the local Party was relatively independent and did not always follow the line as articulated by the USSR, that the Party anticipated the Popular Front policy by several years, and she fleshes out the difficulties the Party had organizing industrial workers.

Bill Baar
Feb 04, 2013 Bill Baar rated it liked it
Great book if you're interested in Chicago and leftist politics. Storch's premis on the Americaness of the party a little questionable considering she used Moscow archives (what other US party has it's archives overseas?), or that a key figure in the history: Bill Gebert, returned to Communist Poland after WW2 probaby to avoid spy charges here in the US. A good read though of the party's work in Chicago. The struggle to get the language federations into the party line. The work in the African Am ...more
Alex
Jul 21, 2009 Alex rated it really liked it
Shelves: studies
An account of the Communist Party in Chicago during its hayday of the 1930s. Personal accounts of party activists and excerpts from party materials from the time make up the content with stories mostly of struggles for civil rights and unionization during the Great Depression.
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one of my favorite books of the year. folks should read this.
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