HIGHLIGHTS OF A FIGHTING HISTORY: 60 Years of the Communist Party, USA by Philip & Others--Eds. Bart

HIGHLIGHTS OF A FIGHTING HISTORY: 60 Years of the Communist Party, USA

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Well, not exactly ""highlights""; more like ""How the CPUSA Would Like to be Remembered,"" and since no one else will pat them on the back, they'll just have to do it themselves. Culled from various Party publications, this ""anthology"" has all the variety of a stuck record. The Party comes across as the single greatest defender of the Constitution and the leader sans pareil of labor and minority-rights campaigns, electoral reform battles, and ""anti-imperialist struggles."" On this last point, Vietnam-war protesters may be surprised to discover that ""only the Communist Party fully grasped the anti-imperialist content of the struggle."" But when the CP congratulates itself for supporting the Czech ""socialist revolution"" of 1968 in a show of ""international solidarity,"" it means the Soviet invasion, not the ""Prague Spring."" Similarly, while denouncing ""Trotsky and all his agents, faithful to their alliance with fascism,"" Party spokesmen are discreetly silent about the Hitler-Stalin Pact, and gloss over the Party's change in tactics after the German invasion of the USSR. The rhetoric is thick enough to resist a sledgehammer, with attacks on ""Browderism,"" ""sinister Wall Street cliques,"" etc., etc. None of this--for better or worse--obscures the CPUSA's role as a relatively impotent handmaiden of Soviet foreign policy.

Pub Date: Aug. 17th, 1979
Publisher: International Publishers