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Sun Aug 30, 2015, 03:36 PM

Gendering Radicalism

by: Tony Pecinovsky
August 28 2015

Slutsky's Gendering Radicalism is a good read. Whitney, Healy and Alexander's stories deserve to be told and retold, as their stories are in many ways also the stories of the California Communist Party. By highlighting these courageous lives, Slutsky humanizes the party. She paints a nuanced picture of an organization and its individual members deeply rooted in the American radical tradition, warts and all.

The history of American communism, while contested, is a central component of 20th-century U.S. history. Arguably, we cannot write about 20th-century U.S. history without writing about the Communist Party. Similarly, we cannot write about 20th-century California without writing about the California Communist Party - or the three generations of women leaders who led the California CP from its birth until the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Beth Slutsky's new book Gendering Radicalism: Women and Communism in Twentieth-Century California does just that. By focusing on the lives of three remarkable women communists, their trials and tribulations, the victories and defeats, Slutsky places their lives squarely within the context of the times. She not only tells their story. She tells the party's story - as well as the story of the broader movements for social and economic justice, of which the party was a key component.

Slutsky first focuses on Charlotte Anita Whitney (1867-1955), a well-to-do suffragist, women's rights advocate, socialist and - eventually - founding member of the Communist Party USA ...

More here: http://peoplesworld.org/gendering-radicalism-tells-important-story-of-women-and-communism/

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Sun Aug 30, 2015, 05:38 PM

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