The Roots of American Communism

By Theodore Draper | Go to book overview
Save to active project

Influences and Influencers

IN VIEW of the preponderant Russian influence in the American Left Wing and Communist movements after 1917, it may come as a surprise to learn that there was very little Russian influence before 1917. It may come as an even greater surprise that a much stronger European influence was Dutch.

The Dutch Left Wing had formed its own organization, the Social Democratic party, as far back as 1909. It contained only a few hundred members, as compared with the thousands in the Dutch Social Democratic Labor party, but three of them were outstanding intellectuals with international prestige. 1 Anton Pannekoek was a famous astronomer. Herman Gorter was a celebrated poet. Mme. Henriette Roland-Holst, a writer, was one of the founders of the international women's Socialist movement. Politically Pannekoek and Gorter were linked with the Left Wing in the German Social Democratic party. Pannekoek worked so closely with the German Left that he was often considered part of it. 2 Gorter was regarded as the "ablest theorist" of the group which was sometimes identified by his name. 3

The popularity of anarcho-syndicalist ideas in Holland, as in the United States in that period, may have been the reason that the Dutch Left Wing was so congenial to the American Left Wing. 4 In any case, there was a simple, direct reason why Pannekoek and Gorter were familiar names to many American Socialists when Lenin


Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this page

Cited page

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Roots of American Communism


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 502

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?