This essay examines Christina Stead's engagement with the Communist Party in the 1930s and argues that her most famous novel, The Man Who Loved Children, offers a fierce critique not only of patriarchy and her childhood, but also of contemporary events in Roosevelt's America. Through close analogy Stead savages Earl Browder's innovative Party program, and establishes startling correspondences between the Pollit family and a nation where free speech was increasingly jeopardized by Federal agencies and the Party line. Though Stead's literary rehabilitation depended, in part, on down-playing her political views, their continued neglect risks diminishing the full stature of her achievement.