THE RED DECADE: The Stalinist Penetration of America by Eugene Lyons

THE RED DECADE: The Stalinist Penetration of America

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The communist planetary system us with is despite the ending of the Red Decade,"" says the author of Assignment in Utopia. ""...the communist and his fellow-travelers are admitted to serve a foreign nation before their own...the Communist Party and its manifold affiliates and stooge outfits have no more claim on...Americans than the German Bd...The right to political organization cannot be extended to conspiracies against American democratic modes of existence. "" Such are all too briefly a summary of the conclusions Engene Lyons has reached at the close of a brilliant and searching study of ten years of Stalin activities in the U. S. He has shown how various banners have clocked the penetration, fooling many ""innocents"" but using many who should have known (if they didn't) better. He proves, fairly conclusively, the use to which the unions, particularly the CIO, have been put, the Negro front; the tourist racket; the unemployment bugr, the ""penthouse Bolshevists"" etc. etc. He names names, in no uncertain terms, when he comes to the build up of the Liberals' myth, and this is a drastic indictment of many of his fellow journalists, Fischer, Duranty, Sheean and others; of the literati and critics, with Cowlay, Broun, Stewart, Hindus, Freda Kirchwey and numerous others. Pacifist organizations, youth movements (Youth Congress in particular), various ""Innocent Club"" fronts, all used as Trojan Horsemen in America. He does not spare Ickes, Jackson and Mrs. Roosevelt in his charges not naming them as Stalinists, but showing how they have allowed themselves to be fooled. He outlines the steps by which Stalin has muscled himself into American Labor, especially in such directions as affecting national defense and makes no bones of the fact of responsibility for strikes being prolonged beyond their natural limits. His presentation of the case against Stalin in Spain, where Communist minorities overrode the righteous Loyalists to their destruction. Hollywood and Broadway, theatre, arts and letters -- ""that cankerous influence is still gnawing at the heart of American art and letters"". He hints at the lengths to which reprisals have gone in the intellectual Red Terror against those who have shown up facts. Then he traces the right about face, once, twice and again:- ""...a complete swing around the circle in less than two years from the democratic interventionism of the League for Peace and Democracy, through the perfervid isolationism of the American Peace Mobilization and back to the starting point. And the merry-go-round is still turning."" Near the close he wisely refrains from attempting too close-up a study of the present possibilities, but he does say ""Stalin...may have received the formal helo of Britain and the United States, but not an lots of their trust. For his betrayal of the anti-fascist cause Stalin collected only war and contempt."" This book will be labelled ""red-baiting"" -- ""Scaremongering"" ""unreliable"". It may be soft - pedalled in a press which Lyons distrusts. But - if Out of the Night has held its place among best sellers all these months, this detailed expose of the record of penetration here should have a timely sale which may be pushed into the upper brackets by the controversial elements of its content and handling.

Pub Date: Aug. 28th, 1941
Publisher: Bobbs-Merrill