THE MOULDING OF COMMUNISTS by Frank S. Meyer

THE MOULDING OF COMMUNISTS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Meyer, 14 years a Communist leader, asserts in this Fund for the Republic study on Communism in American life, that peaceful co-existence is impossible. ""The Communist man poses two stark alternatives to us: victory or defeat"", he says, maintaining that only greater determination on our part will enable us to triumph. A chilling book in many respects, for the author obviously knows his way around inside the cadre of the U.S. and British Communist Parties -- the complete subordination of personal life, the strange combination of cynicism and idealism ""that makes possible all the other contradictions demanded of the Communist"", the flip-flops of the party line, the weird mixture of personal initiative and slavish devotion required, the humanitarian gesture today, the brutal repression tomorrow. Meyer raises the question but denies that one can draw a parallel between the inner Party core -- the full subordination of self to some outside-imposed, all-embracing, all-knowing authority with full confidence in the ultimate correctness of the goal -- and the commitment required by a religious order. The book provides a good description of Communist recruitment and the subsequent pressure-cooker weeding out that produces the cadre. It is all excellent material, yet the reader might wonder a bit. Is it not somewhat out of date? The author was last associated with the Party 15 years ago. Have not the nuclear bombs, the emergence of Red China, the defection of the Yugoslavs, the virtual elimination of the American Communist Party as a political force made a great deal of difference?

Pub Date: Jan. 4th, 1960
Publisher: Harcourt, Brace