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The First Ten Years of American Communism: America's Hard Road to Revolution
By Tom Siblo
Anyone who has seen "Reds" starring Warren Beatty will find
The First Ten Years of American Communism by James P. Cannon a worthwhile experience. Cannon is for real he was born into a Debbsian socialist family in Rosedale, Kansas. As a young man he sold the Socialist Appeal newspaper that haled from St Louis and published by the Rip Saw. Most of the early socialist authors? works were published by Rip Saw.
James Cannon became a member of the I.W.W. and wrote a pamphlet about his experiences as a Wobbly. Cannon it is alleged received his personal training as a labor organizer by the famous leader of the Western Federation of Miners and co-founder Big Bill Haywood. Like William Z. Foster Cannon held dual membership in both the Socialist Party and the IWW. Foster and Cannon joined the left wing of the Socialist Party and publicly opposed World War I. Some 500 IWW after the Palmer raids languished for years in federal prison along with Eugene V. Debs. Cannon was never caught; however Foster was causing the later to spend time in prison under the revolutionary syndicalist law.
Cannon was there when the Workers Party was formed as seen in Reds. Becoming a staunch supporter of the Russian Revolution he soon rose up the ranks of the new communist party and became the chairperson from 1818 to 1928.
In 1928 he attended the International Congress of the Communist International where he read a critique by Leon Trotsky the leader of the left opposition. He was not supposed to receive this translated copy but he did. He took it back to the USA and immediately began circulating resulting in his expulsion along with Max Shachtman and Martin Abern. Cannon was one of three former CP members who founded first the Communist League and later the Socialist Workers Party.
In 1968 I had the pleasurable experience of attending James P. Cannon's speech to the Young Socialist Alliance in New York. Cannon was an exciting and electrifying speaker. He shared his experience along the hard road to socialist revolution.
Any serious student of Marxism, Communism and Trotskyism need to read this book because it contains the early history of the communist movement in the U.S. There are many other books by James P. Cannon at Alibris and you need to check them out
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