The Roots of American Communism

By Theodore Draper | Go to book overview

22
The Raid

AGAIN the American Communist movement found itself in one of those demoralizing factional struggles from which it could not extricate itself alone.

The stage was set for the first plenipotentiary from Moscow. The mission of Fraina, Scott, and Katayama in 1921 had not been entrusted with the same full powers. These three had originally come from the United States and could not dictate to their old associates. The first fully accredited Comintern representative with no previous tie to the American party enjoyed a much more exalted status.

The decision to send such a representative came during the negotiations with Ballam and Katterfeld in Moscow. The news was broken to the Americans in a letter of March 30, 1922: "The Communist International sends its plenipotentiary representative to America, whose task will be to help you in overcoming the still existing difficulties. We already had to contend with even greater obstacles than yours in some countries, and have learned to overpower them." 1

This plenipotentiary representative was Professor H. Valetski (or Walecki), a mathematician by profession, long active in the Polish revolutionary movement. As an adherent of Karl Radek against Rosa Luxemburg in the prewar split of the Polish movement, he was an old hand at factional warfare. 2 Gitlow describes him as "a rather aristocratic Polish intellectual, who, notwithstanding his origin, looked like

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The Roots of American Communism
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Illustrations ix
  • Foreword xi
  • Introduction 3
  • 1 - The Historic Left 11
  • 2 - The Age of Unrest 36
  • 3 - The New Left Wing 50
  • 4 - Influences and Influencers 65
  • 5 - The Left at War 80
  • 6 - The Reflected Glory 97
  • 7 - Roads to Moscow 114
  • 8 - The Revolutionary Age 131
  • 9 - The Real Split 148
  • 10 - The Great Schism 164
  • 12 - The Underground 197
  • 13 - The Second Split 210
  • 14 - Spies, Victims, and Couriers 226
  • 15 - The Crisis of Communism 246
  • 16 - To the Masses! 267
  • 17 - The Revolution Devours Its Children 282
  • 18 - New Forces 303
  • 19 - The Legal Party 327
  • 20 - The Manipulated Revolution 345
  • 21 - The Two-Way Split 353
  • 22 - The Raid 363
  • 23 - The Transformation 376
  • Notes 399
  • Acknowledgments 459
  • Index 463
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