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Daily Worker

From Academic Kids

The Daily Worker was a newspaper published by the Communist Party USA, a Comintern affiliated organization in New York, beginning in 1924. While it generally reflected the prevailing views of the party, attempts were made to make it a paper that reflected the spectrum of left-wing opinion. At its peak, the newspaper achieved a circulation of 35,000.

Contents

Popular Front changes

Beginning in the Popular Front period of the 1930s, when the party proclaimed that "Communism was Twentieth Century Americanism" and characterized itself as the heirs to the tradition of Washington and Lincoln, the paper broadened its coverage of the arts and entertainment. In 1935 it established a sports page, edited and frequently written by Lester Rodney. The paper's sports coverage combined enthusiasm with social criticism and is remembered for consistently advocating the desegregation of professional sports.

Post-WWII

The Daily Worker had constant financial and distribution problems. Many news stands and stores would not carry the paper. The intense anti-communism of 1950s McCarthyism intensified the paper's difficulties. The paper did not always behave as its opponents would expect.

The membership of the American Communist Party had fallen to around 20,000 in 1956, when Khrushchev's speech to the 20th Congress of the CPSU on the personality cult of Stalin became known. The paper printed articles in support for the early stages of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution. Editor John Gates opened the paper for discussion, which seemed to promise either a revitalisation or a dissolution of the party.

Despite dissension in the CPUSA, the paper finally endorsed Moscow's suppression of the uprising. In the disruptions that followed, about half of the remaining membership left the party, including Gates and many staff members of the Daily Worker.

The CPUSA was forced to cease publication of a daily paper, but the party survived. After a short hiatus, the party published a weekend paper called The Worker from 1958 until 1968. A Tuesday edition called The Midweek Worker was added in 1961 and also continued until 1968, when production was accelerated.

In 1968 the Communist Party resumed publication of a New York daily paper, now titled The Daily World. In 1986, the paper merged with the Party's West Coast weekly paper, the People's World. The new People’s Daily World published from 1987 until 1991, when daily publication was abandoned.

The paper cut back to a weekly issue and was retitled People's Weekly World, which remains the paper of the Communist Party USA today.

Daily Worker of Great Britain

A different Daily Worker newspaper was founded in Britain in 1930 by the Communist Party of Great Britain. It changed its name to Morning Star in 1966, under which name it is still being publshed daily.

External links

  • Daily Worker FBI files (http://foia.fbi.gov/foiaindex/dailywor.htm). File number 61-275 Volume 5. Heavily redacted files from roughly 1948 - late 1950s. Retrieved May 16, 2005.

Further reading

Articles

  • Fetter, Henry D. The Party Line and the Color Line: The American Communist Party, the Daily Worker and Jackie Robinson. Journal of Sport History 28, no. 3 (Fall 2001).
  • Lamb, Christopher and Rusinack, Kelly E. Hitting From the Left: The Daily Worker's Assault on Baseball's Color Line. Gumpert, Gary and Drucker, Susan J., eds. Take Me Out to the Ballgame: Communicating Baseball. Cresskill, NJ: Hampton Press, 2002.
  • Rusinack, Kelly E. Baseball on the Radical Agenda: The Daily and Sunday Worker Journalistic Campaign to Desegregate Major League Baseball, 1933-1947. Dorinson, Joseph, and Woramund, Joram, eds. Jackie Robinson: Race, Sports, and the American Dream. New York: E.M. Swift, 1998.
  • Smith, Ronald A. The Paul Robeson-Jackie Robinson Saga and a Political Collision. Journal of Sport History 6, no. 2 (1979).

Theses

  • Evans, William Barrett. "Revolutionist Thought" in the Daily Worker, 1919-1939. Ph.D. diss. University of Washington, 1965.
  • Jeffries, Dexter. Richard Wright and the ‘Daily Worker’: A Native Son’s Journalistic Apprenticeship. Ph.D. diss. City University of New York, 2000.
  • Rusinack, Kelly E. Baseball on the Radical Agenda: The Daily and Sunday Worker on Desegregating Major League Baseball, 1933-1947. M.A. Thesis, Clemson University, South Carolina, 1995.
  • Shoemaker, Martha Mcardell. Propaganda or Persuasion: The Communist Party and Its Campaign to Integrate Baseball. Master’s thesis. University of Nevada, Las Vegas, 1999.

Books

  • Hemingway, Andrew. Artists on the Left: American Artists and the Communist Movement, 1926-1956. New Haven, Yale University Press, 2002.
  • Schnappes, Morris U. The Daily Worker, heir to the great tradition. Daily Worker, 1944. ASIN B0007E3UBA.
  • Silber, Irwin. Press Box Red: The Story of Lester Rodney, The Communist Who Helped Break the Color Line in American Sports. 248 pages. Temple University Press, August 1, 2003. ISBN 1566399742.
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