The Romance of American Communism

The Romance of American Communism

The Romance of American Communism

The Romance of American Communism

Excerpt

BEFORE I KNEW that I was Jewish or a girl I knew that I was a member of the working class. At a time when I had not yet grasped the significance of the fact that in my house English was a second language, or that I wore dresses while my brother wore pants, I knew—and I knew it was important to know—that Papa worked hard all day long. One of my strongest memories of early childhood is that no matter what we were doing, my mother and I, everything in our Bronx apartment stopped dead at four‐ thirty in the afternoon and she began cooking supper. If ever I questioned this practice, or complained, or demanded that we continue what we were doing, my mother—whose manner was generallv frantic and uncontrolled—would answer with a sudden dignity that stopped me cold: "Papa works hard all day long. When he comes home his supper must be on the table."

Papa works hard all day long . Those words, in my mother's mouth, spoke volumes, and from the age of reason on I absorbed their complex message. The words stirred in me, almost from the . . .

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