The History of American Trotskyism
From Its Origins (1928) to the Founding of the Socialists Workers Party (1938): Report of a Participant

Cannon, James P.
Publisher:  Pathfinder Press, New York, USA
Year Published:  1972   First Published:  1944
Pages:  268pp  
Resource Type:  Book
Cx Number:  CX7455

Trotskyist leader Cannon recounts the early history of the Trotskyist movement in the United States.


Table of Contents



The First Days of American Communism

Trotskyism defined - Continuity of Marxist movement - Socialist Party - Influence of Russian revolution - Formation of Left Wing - Foreign Language Federations - Faction struggles - Two Communist Parties - Driven underground - Ultra-leftism - United Communist Party - Struggle for legality - Workers Party.


Factional Struggles In The Old Communist Party

Ideological superiority of Communist Party - Trade union gains - Farmer-Labor Party adventure - Communist press - Labor defense - Factional struggles - Social composition - Consolidation of leadership - Role of Communist International - Origin of Trotskyist movement.


The beginning Of The Left Opposition

Marxism vs. Stalinism - Russian Left Opposition - National narrow-mindedness of American Communists - Campaign against Trotskyism - Sixth World Congress - Cannon and Spector become Trotskyists - "Trial" and expulsion of Cannon, Shachtman and Abern - Appeal to party - Publication of the Militant - Growth of faction.


The Left Opposition Under Fire

Regeneration of American Communism - Propaganda by correspondence - Spector in Canada - Stalinist ostracism, slander, gangsterism - Appeal to Plenum of Central Committee of CP - Public meetings - Publication of Trotskyist Platform - First National Conference of left Opposition - Communist League of America launched.


The Dog Days Of The Left Opposition

Program and tasks - Lovestone group - Russian question - Trade union question - A faction of the party and the Comintern - Albert Weisbord - Stalinist "left turn" - Isolation - "Lunatic fringe" - Factionalism - Publications - Poverty - Internationalism - "Tenacity! Tenacity! Tenacity!"


The Break With The Comintern

Internationalism - Unemployed work - Trade union work - German events - Capitulation of German Communist Party - Bankruptcy of Third International - Trends in Socialist Party - Conference for Progressive Labor Action - Turn to mass work - Sectarian opposition - American Workers Party Campaign for new party.


The Turn To Mass Work

What to do next? - Paterson strike - Hotel Workers Strike - B. J. Field - Minneapolis coal yard strike - Negotiations with American Workers Party - Lovestone-Cannon debate - Trotskyism on the march.


The Great Minneapolis Strikes

Strike wave of 1934 - Auto-Lite strike in Toledo - Role of unemployed - Minneapolis truck-drivers strike - Bill Brown - "Organizing Committee" - Farrell Dobbs - "The Battle of Deputies Run" - July Strike - Federal mediators - Daily Organizer - Floyd Olson - Arrest of Cannon and Shachtman - Raid on strike headquarters - "Haas-Dunnigan Plan" - Victory.


The Fusion With The Musteites

Unity negotiations with American Workers Party - A. J. Muste - Salutsky (J. B. S. Hardman) - Louis Budenz - Ludwig Lore - Organizational concessions by League - "Declaration of Principles " - Plenum of Executive Committee of International Communist League in Paris - Visit to Trotsky - Oehler-Stamm opposition to "French turn" - Fusion of Communist League and American Workers Party - Workers Party launched.


The Struggle Against Sectarianism

Socialist Party "Militants" - Pressure of Stalinists - Spanish experience - Oehlerites - Sacramento "criminal-syndicalism" trial - Active Workers Conference - Joseph Zack - Financial trouble - June (1935) Plenum - Abern clique - Oehler-Muste-Abern faction - October Plenum - Expulsion of Oehlerites.


The "French Turn" in America

Politics vs. organization - Split in Socialist Party - Negotiation with "Militants" - Conditions of entry - Convention of March 1936 - Stalinist agents in Allentown - Entry into Socialist Party.


The Trotskyists In The Socialist Party

Tendencies in SP - World situation - Spanish civil war - Moscow trials - French events - Trotsky Defense Committee - Socialist Party of California - Socialist Appeal - Labor Action - "Socialist Appeal Conference" - Prohibition of Socialist Appeal - "Gag" law - Expulsion of Trotskyist - "National Committee of Expelled Branches - Chicago convention - Socialist Workers Party launched.


Subject Headings

Insert T_CxShareButtonsHorizontal.html here