American Communism and Soviet Russia: The Formative Period

By Theodore Draper | Go to book overview

7
Bolshevization

THE time has come to turn our attention to the organizational structure of the American Communist movement. There is much to learn not only from the party's structure but from the way it came into existence.

The Fourth Convention in the summer of 1925 was an organizational as well as a political dividing line. Gusev did more than settle the factional struggle; he also supervised the party's total reorganization.

Important as these organizational changes were, the magic word "Bolshevization" gave them a special aura of reflected glory. Everything that Gusev did, and everything that was henceforth done in the name of the Comintern, was invested with the glamour of Bolshevization. It was the chief over-all slogan of the second half of the decade, dinned into the consciousness of every party member, the goal of every true and loyal Communist.

The term Bolshevization was loose enough to mean anything the Comintern wanted it to mean, and is therefore best understood in practical rather than abstract terms. Zinoviev had theoretically warned against confusing. Bolshevization with Russification. At the same time the Comintern had distinguished among three groups of parties in three stages of Bolshevization: those parties which were still predominantly propagandist in nature, those which had won considerable mass support, and those which had already conquered

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American Communism and Soviet Russia: The Formative Period
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page v
  • Note ix
  • Contents xi
  • Introduction 3
  • 1 - The New Day 9
  • 2 - The Farmer-Labor United Front 29
  • 3 - Roads to Chicago 52
  • 4 - The Parting of the Ways 75
  • 5 - The Lafollette Fiasco 96
  • 6 - How to Win A Majority 127
  • 7 - Bolshevization 153
  • 8 - Party LIfe 186
  • 9 - Politics and Trade-Unionism 215
  • 10 - Ruthenberg's Last Wish 234
  • 11 - Lovestone in Power 248
  • 12 - American Exceptionalism 268
  • 13 - The Turning Point 282
  • 14 - The Sixth World Congress 300
  • 15 - The Negronn Question 315
  • 16 - The Birth of American Trotskyism 357
  • 17 - The Runaway Convention 377
  • 18 - How to Lose A Majority 405
  • Notes 445
  • Acknowledgments 533
  • Index 535
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