Magazine July 6, 2020, Issue

The Pathology of American Communism

Supporters of the “Revolutionary Communist Party, USA” stand on the American flag near the site of the 2016 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, July 25, 2016. (Adrees Latif/Reuters)
The Romance of American Communism, by Vivian Gornick (Verso, 288 pp., $19.95)

Progressives may be riding high these days, but Vivian Gornick believes they lack good role models as they set about trying to “achieve a more just world from the bottom up.” Gornick, the New York journalist and memoirist whose radical feminist writings appeared regularly in the Village Voice, believes The Romance of American Communism is what they need. Verso has reissued her 1977 book, a group portrait of the men and women of her parents’ generation who embraced Communism during its mid-20th-century heyday. 

Much of America scorned the “old Reds,” to use Gornick’s term. The reasons why come through clearly in

This article appears as “Life in the Party” in the July 6, 2020, print edition of National Review.

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