Cover

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Accolades, Half Title, Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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Contents

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pp. viii-x

Preface to the Thirtieth Anniversary Edition

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pp. ix-xxviii

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xxix-xxxiv

I am grateful to the following libraries for assistance and in some cases for permission to quote from letters and manuscripts: American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters; Archives of Labor History and Urban Affairs, Wayne State University; Boston Public Library; Butler Library, Columbia University; ...

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A Note on the Text and the Illustrations

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pp. xxxv-xxxvi

An important obstacle to the study of political culture in the United States of the 19308 and after is the mystification of the terms "Communism" and "communism." The capitalization or noncapitalization of the letter "c/; makes a qualitative difference in the meaning of the term, to which the reader must be ever alert. ...

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Introduction: Political Amnesia

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pp. 3-24

In late 1933, Sidney Hook, a thirty-one-year-old assistant professor of philosophy at New York University, wrote the political program for a new revolutionary communist party. The organization that would be launched in just a few months was called the American Workers Party. ...

Part I: Origins of the Anti-Stalinist Left

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Chapter 1. Jewish Internationalists

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pp. 27-45

A substantial number of studies have been devoted to probing the social and historical roots of modern Jewish radicalism. Despite the variety of conclusions such studies have yielded, most analyses usually begin by noting the dilemma of young Jewish intellectuals who have attempted to escape the confines of the religio-cultural ghetto, ...

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Chapter 2. Dissident Communists

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pp. 46-74

The 19305 radicalization of American intellectuals was adumbrated and anticipated in the late 19208. Its matrix was a growing disillusionment with what Elliot Cohen referred to in an essay as the Jazz "Age of Brass."2 Underlying political discontent was dramatically manifested by the fervent involvement of John Dos Passos ...

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Chapter 3. Radical Modernists

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pp. 75-98

In the fourth decade of this century, a generation of young American writers and literary critics began to turn from immersion in the experimental forms and esoteric sensibilities of the years following World War I to the politico-literary activism of the early 1930s. Yet this move from what we now call literary modernism ...

Part II: Revolutionary Intellectuals

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Chapter 4. Philosophers and Revolutionists

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pp. 101-127

The internationalist Jewish intellectuals and fellow dissidents broke with the Communist Party in 1933-34, and the radical modernists became alienated from the party at the beginning of the Moscow trials in 1936. Yet these two rebellions should not be confused with rifts that occurred later in the decade. ...

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Chapter 5. The Moscow Trials

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pp. 128-163

A decisive event that simultaneously consolidated the anti-Stalinist left while setting the stage for its disintegration was the Moscow trials which began in 1936. These four trials were extraordinary for a number of reasons. First, the men and women who were placed in the prisoner's dock and charged with treachery, sabotage, ...

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Chapter 6. Cannonites and Shachtmanites

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pp. 164-214

James P. Cannon (1890-1974) and Max Shachtman (1904-72) were two of the most able and important Marxists active during the Great Depression, despite the small size of the organizations that they co-led from 1928 to 1940. The American Trotskyist movement had an impact on virtually an entire generation of New York-based ...

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Chapter 7. The Second Imperialist War

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pp. 215-247

During and after World War II most of the New York intellectuals abandoned the revolutionary pro-working-class perspective they had earlier defended. For many, signs of their later transformation first appeared in a startling reversal of one of the most fundamental political positions they previously had held, ...

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Chapter 8. The New York Intellectuals in Fiction

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pp. 248-286

By the end of World War II the deradicalized New York intellectuals had established a distinct tradition in culture and politics. They had entered the mid-1930s as dissident revolutionaries influenced by Leon Trotsky; as universalists and internationalists in spite of (or, perhaps in some cases, because of) the Jewish backgrounds ...

Part III: The Great Retreat

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Chapter 9. Apostates and True Believers

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pp. 289-332

The particular variant of post-World War II social thought, in which many of the political and cultural ideas of the New York intellectuals became essentially hegemonic, was correctly characterized by Robert Booth Fowler as that of "believing skeptics," ...

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Chapter 10. The Cul-de-Sac of Social Democracy

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pp. 333-365

For the New York intellectuals, the consequences of Cold War anticommunism extend far beyond the 1950s. The transformation in ideology and political consciousness consolidated in the early 1950s definitively and perhaps permanently shifted the axis of anti-Stalinism from its revolutionary anticapitalist premise, ...

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Chapter 11. The Bitter Fruits of Anticommunism

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pp. 366-387

On 6 February 1982 the cultural critic, novelist, and filmmaker Susan Sontag addressed a mass meeting in New York City's Town Hall, which had been organized in support of the Polish Solidarnosc [Solidarity] movement. The distinctive feature of the meeting, according to its sponsors, was that a group of artists, ...

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Epilogue. Marxism and Intellectuals in the United States

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pp. 388-396

What are the conclusions one might draw from the experiences described in the preceding chapters? This book argues that the collective history of the group that began as the anti-Stalinist left and was transformed into the New York intellectuals embodies many lessons for those interested in combining cultural, artistic, literary, ...

Notes

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pp. 397-444

Index

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pp. 445-462