A RADICAL LIFE by Vera Buch Weisbord


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Vera Weisbord's autobiographical narrative records a radical life lived in a strangely distant time. Early poverty and illness led her to the labor movement and, in the 1920s and '30s, to the Communist Party. Her part in the Passaic textile strike of 1926, the organization of Pennsylvania coal miners, and the textile strike in Gastonia, North Carolina, is played out against a background of internecine Party struggles over murky issues and the optimistic faith that revolution is only a matter of time. The story is as familiar as a daguerreotype or an old Dos Passos manuscript. Less familiar is the story of a radical woman yielding her interests, her work, her achievement, her unborn babies, and finally her integrity for the sake of the domineering man she loves. After 1935, drummed out of the Party, she and her husband (the life-long lover married too late to please her mother) organize their own splinter group while FDR co-opts the left. Times and politics change. At last Weisbord turns to art, and to writing this interesting historical document which holds its most telling points between the lines.

Pub Date: June 1st, 1977
Publisher: Indiana Univ. Press