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Pub Date: May 16th, 1960
ISBN: 0765805316
Publisher: Viking

This is a history of the first ten years of the American Communist Party. The author, who is known for his earlier work, The Roots of American Communism, has become convinced after further research that the first decade of the American Communist Party's existence holds the key to an understanding of the Party's fundamental nature. ""In later years,"" he writes, ""its power and policies changed enormously. In the long perspective, however, the changes proved to be superficial and transitory."" Draper's conclusion is that ""The founding generation of American Communists has retained effective control of the party for forty years. In its main line, therefore, a history of the Communist Party is chiefly a history of its top leadership."" In order to substantiate these findings, Draper has been able to avail himself of exceptionally reliable documentary material, namely the confidential minutes of the top committees of the Communist Party. The result is an important achievement: a scholarly, well-documented history which tells all and explains all. The important point Mr. Draper has to make is that the American Communist Party and the Soviet Union have had an enduring relationship from the very beginning, and that it has always been Moscow which gave the top men their authority and laid down the party line. One particularly interesting matter Draper writes of, is how the Party adopted its policy of the ""Right of Self-Determination of the Negroes in the Black Belt"". ""The entire discussion was conducted and the decision was made in Moscow,"" reveals the author. For complete documentation of the text, Draper has included in his book copious notes which should satisfy the requirements of the most painstaking student or scholar.