PART OF OUR TIME by Murray Kempton


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An engrossing and unusual book tells the story of the believers in the ""myth of the Thirties"", what motivated them and what has happened to them. It treats of Communism in the complete sense of the revolutionary classless concept, professional in nature, and of Communism in the sense of social action. Himself attracted to the social dynamism of the Thirties which followed the individualistic Twenties, Murray Kempton was a member of the Young Communist League and later of the Socialist Party. Here he draws vignettes of various sorts of people who worked for the Communist cause, or outside of the party for social goals that were a part of the upsurge of the times, and considers the reasons for their alliances and actions. From the realm of ""shabby gentility"" he draws Chambers and Hiss; from the proletariat he chooses Joe Curran and his shipmates whose need led to the establishment of the National Maritime Union and to party membership. The part writing played and the special plight of the Hollywood Communists are considered. There are the rebel girls, each with distinct reasons for fighting -- Mary Heaton Vorse as a bulwark of causes, Elizabeth Bentley and Anne Moos Remington active Communists. Negro exploitation is represented by Paul Robeson, whose story is set against the stand of the non-Communist pullman porters who earned themselves a union. Of the men who came out of the Thirties, some fell to political leperdom, some rise to accepted heights -- for a Hiss there was a Matthews, professional ex-Communist. Packed, personal, at times intuitive, this is a provocative come-on for the thinking public.

Publisher: Simon & Schuster