The American Fund for Public Service: Charles Garland and Radical Philanthropy, 1922-1941

By Gloria Garrett Samson | Go to book overview

22
Passaic

With the expectation that Foster soon would resign from the board, the directors, in early February, invited Ben Gitlow to join them. However, they wanted him to know that "we invite you . . . as an individual and not as an official representative of the Workers Party." None of the directors officially represented any organization, they explained, "but of course we are asking you to come on because you are a Communist and because of your union connections and your experience in the labor movement." The directors believed that "in having you we have gained a real addition to our Board," Flynn wrote on their behalf. 1 The board perhaps was unaware that Gitlow was not in Foster's faction in the struggle for control of the party. If the directors did know, they chose to ignore internal factional disputes.


BENJAMIN GITLOW

Ben Gitlow's journey from a founder of what would become the Communist Party USA to later notoriety as a professional anticommunist crusader remains largely unexplained. No one event or sudden revelation marked the beginning of the drift to the right.

Born in Elizabethport, New Jersey, in 1891, the second son of immigrant parents, Gitlow grew up in a socialist milieu. His parents' eventual home on New York's Lower East Side became a meeting place for immigrant radicals who related tales of brutal cossacks, political imprisonments, and escapes from Siberia. The four Gitlow children learned at an early age to hate czarism, injustice, and poverty. Gitlow's father had studied civil engineering in Russia, but in America he operated a sewing machine in a shirt factory while Kate Gitlow took in boarders and finished bundles of shirts at home. 2

In 1909, Ben Gitlow joined the Socialist Party, becoming the only American-born member of his Harlem branch. He soon became the branch organizer, and then served on the New York County executive committee and the New York State committee, aligning himself with the party's left

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The American Fund for Public Service: Charles Garland and Radical Philanthropy, 1922-1941
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Recent Titles in Contributions in Labor Studies ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents xi
  • Introduction xiii
  • 1 - An Inheritance Rejected 1
  • Notes 3
  • 2 - From Progressivism to Radicalism 5
  • Notes 12
  • 3 - The Aclu and a New Social Order 15
  • Notes 18
  • 4 - Free from the Bonds of Old Institutions 19
  • Notes 24
  • 5 - Workers Will Lay Down Their Tools 27
  • Notes 31
  • 6 - To Promote the Well-Being of Mankind 33
  • Notes 38
  • 7 - Pacifists as Radicals 41
  • Notes 46
  • 8 - It Takes Warm Hearts 49
  • Notes 56
  • 9 - Chosen to Box the Left Compass 59
  • Notes 63
  • 10 - A Sane Enough Radicalism 65
  • Notes 68
  • 11 - Spend It Here and Now 69
  • Notes 73
  • 12 - Scientific, Pragmatic, Efficient 75
  • Notes 81
  • 13 - Emancipation of Their Class in Every Sphere 83
  • Notes 90
  • 14 - Bolsheviks in Patriots' Clothing 93
  • Notes 100
  • 15 - Tempers Flare 103
  • Notes 109
  • 16 - The Rebel Girl Comes Aboard 111
  • Notes 115
  • 17 - Surveying the Left 117
  • Notes 122
  • 18 - Enemies on the Left 125
  • Notes 131
  • 19 - Education and Culture 133
  • Notes 139
  • 20 - Recipient Testimonials 141
  • Notes 147
  • 21 - Negro Work"" 149
  • Notes 155
  • 22 - Passaic 157
  • Notes 162
  • 23 - Vanguard Press 165
  • Notes 169
  • 24 - Friction Within and Without 171
  • Notes 177
  • 25 - Little Left to Repress 179
  • Notes 190
  • 26 - The Manifold Discriminations That Beset Him"" 193
  • Notes 201
  • 27 - Shift to Low Gear 205
  • Notes 216
  • 28 - We Did Quite a Lot of Good 219
  • Notes 224
  • Bibliography 227
  • Index 253
  • About the Author 265
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