Workingclass Giant: The Life of William Z. Foster

Workingclass Giant: The Life of William Z. Foster

Workingclass Giant: The Life of William Z. Foster

Workingclass Giant: The Life of William Z. Foster


I was secretary and research assistant to William Z. Foster from 1951 to 1957. Being with Foster six days a week and observing him in all aspects of his work and in the bosom of his family qualified me, I suppose, to undertake the present book. But the principal sources for a William Z. Foster biography are his own autobiographical writings -- From Bryan to Stalin (1937), Pages from a Worker's Life (1939) and More Pages from a Worker's Life (a posthumous collection I edited in 1979).

There are other sources, mostly in his own writings and in the writings of others, and I have generally credited these in the reference notes. Facts and anecdotes not otherwise credited are, in most instances, the fallout of many hundreds of hours of informal conversation with my subject.

A few passages in this book have previously appeared in other publications in somewhat altered form.

Although I had thought for several years of writing this short biography of a man who deserves a longer one, I might not have actually written it if I had not been goaded and driven to do so by my friend Gil Green who was a long-time associate of Foster's. Gil Green also was kind enough to read the manuscript and make valuable recommendations.

I am also deeply indebted to William Weinstone, a charter member of the Communist Party, whose advanced age has not dimmed his extraordinary mental and physical vigor. Will Weinstone gave the manuscript a careful and constructive reading and made numerous perceptive suggestions. In his characteristic way he monitored my project beyond the call of duty and friendship. His help and concern are deeply appreciated.

Gus Hall, Henry Winston, and James E. Jackson, leaders of the Communist Party and colleagues of William Z. Foster, read all or parts of the manuscript and made invaluable suggestions.

Special mention must be made of my wife, Pearl Zipser, without . . .

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