Title: The Red Decade
Author: Eugene Lyons
Lyons, Eugene (1970). The Red Decade: The Classic Work on Communism in America During The Thirties. Arlington House
Date Posted: February 16, 2013
Over eighty years ago, Eugene Lyons—Russian born, American bred—sought to explain just what happened among America’s left-wing intellectuals in the previous decade. The thirties were unkind to them, as they started the decade damning such “social fascists” as FDR, voted for Foster and Ford, then, on orders from Moscow, hailed the liberals as allies in the fight against fascism. Ah, but then Stalin signed a pact with fascism—so back went Franklin to the vituperation pile. (Eleanor was OK.) The war brought about some changes: it was “imperialist,” and so resistance to Hitler was out of fashion (a word Hellman would disengenuously use later). The Hollywood Anti-Nazi Committee changed its name to something less provocative; those who had whooped for the purge trials moved onto calling for strikes in defense industries. The yanks weren’t coming, they said. Then Hitler broke the treaty. The change was immediate. Suddenly the yanks WERE coming, if the intellectualoids of the left had anything to say. Supporting all this, driving this, in fact, were those Hollywood Ten types the left love to tell us were just “activists,” persecuted innocents. These innocents sided with Stalin and, for a time, Hitler. (Think about that the next time you laud such people.) This book is a true classic. It’s erudite and witty style makes the subject anything but dry. This book is a must for conservatives—and liberals who wish to be truly iconoclastic.