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Red Chicago American Communism at Its Grassroots, 1928-35 by Randi Storch

Red Chicago American Communism at Its Grassroots, 1928-35

Part of the Working Class in American History Series


Red Chicago American Communism at Its Grassroots, 1928-35 by Randi Storch

Red Chicago is a social history of American Communism set within the context of Chicago's neighborhoods, industries, and radical traditions. Using local party records, oral histories, union records, party newspapers, and government documents, Randi Storch fills the gap between Leninist principles and the day-to-day activities of Chicago's rank-and-file Communists. Uncovering rich new evidence from Moscow's former party archive, Storch argues that although the American Communist Party was an international organization strongly influenced by the Soviet Union, at the city level it was a more vibrant and flexible organization responsible to local needs and concerns. Thus, while working for a better welfare system, fairer unions, and racial equality, Chicago's Communists created a movement that at times departed from international party leaders' intentions. By focusing on the experience of Chicago's Communists, who included a large working-class, African American, and ethnic population, this study reexamines party members' actions as an integral part of the communities and industries in which they lived and worked.


A must-read and a thrilling story for anyone interested in learning the tactics and hidden history of the CP's mass organizing in the 1930s. --International Socialist Review Storch's solid new book . . . [is] the beginning of a 'fourth wave
of historiography of the American Communist Party

. --History: Review of New Books Red Chicago is thoroughly researched, the prose lucid and felicitous, and its arguments clearly made. This is Storch's first book, and it marks her as a young historian of promise. --Journal of American History Storch's new book effectively kicks off the beginning of a new wave of American Communist Party historiography. . . . Highly recommended. --Choice

About the Author

Randi Storch is an associate professor of history at the State University of New York College at Cortland.

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Book Info

Publication date

12th December 2008


Randi Storch

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University of Illinois Press


320 pages


Political ideologies



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