ORCID ID

0000-0002-8128-0272

Date Awarded

Spring 2022

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Department

American Studies

Advisor

Charles McGovern

Committee Member

Frederick Corney

Committee Member

Grey Gundaker

Committee Member

Harvey Klehr

Committee Member

Simon Stow

Abstract

As the Great Depression ravaged the United States, economic turmoil at home and geopolitical conflict abroad left Americans especially open to the Soviet Union’s expressed ideals of equality and internationalism. By extension, their domestic representative, the Communist Party of the United States (CPUSA), achieved an unprecedented degree of cultural prominence – if not political success. For many American Bolsheviks, it would be that party’s official newspaper, the Daily Worker, to which they would turn for their morning news. At one time, the periodical could be found on newsstands throughout the country, and the party itself regarded the paper as the “central organ” of the movement.

Throughout my writing I argue that press-oriented agitation and propaganda efforts played a key role in the political strategy of the CPUSA. Furthermore, I demonstrate that this strategy closely aligned with the desires of the party’s superiors in the Anglo-American wing of the Communist International (Comintern). These desires were reflected in the Daily Worker’s coverage, which maintained a stringently pro-Soviet line. As the outlet’s former chief editor Louis Budenz frankly observed before the US Congress in 1946, his paper and party “has never disagreed with the Stalinite line at any time.” By virtue of this long-standing, cooperative relationship I conclude that the Daily Worker’s editors can best be described not as dupes or drudges but as willing Stalinist collaborators.

Rights

© The Author

Available for download on Saturday, May 20, 2023

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