Haynes, John Earl; Klehr, Harvey
April 2003
Labour History Review (Maney Publishing);Apr2003, Vol. 68 Issue 1, p61
Academic Journal
Scholarly treatment of American Communism began in the late 1950s and 1960s. The 'traditionalists' argued that the Communist Party, USA, was subordinate to the Soviet Union, possessed a totalitarian ideology, and had no legitimate place on the democratic left. In the 1970s and 1980s a wave of 'revisionist' scholars presented a benign view of American Comnmnism as a progressive force, stressed locally-oriented social histories, placed the movement in the traditions of native American radicalism, and minimized the importance of Soviet ties. The opening of the Russian archives in the 1990s reinvigorated the traditionalist approach and inserted CPUSA cooperation with Soviet espionage into the debate. Today the field is unsettled and debate vigorous. Revisionists are on the defensive while traditionalists increasingly control the argument.


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