“The Rotten, Lousy, Stinking, Double Crossing Communists!”: The Communist Party and Chester Himes’ Lonely Crusade

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Abstract

The hostility directed towards the Communist Party in Lonely Crusade has traditionally been read through the paradigms of Cold War anti-Communism. This chapter argues that Lonely Crusade is informed by an anti-Communism, in part engendered by the war-time activities of the CPUSA, rather than by the anti-Communist discourse of the Cold War period. So while the hostility to Communism in the text seems unambiguous, the nature of that hostility is best understood through an investigation of the specific character of the post-Depression CPUSA and its impact on black struggles. Crucially,it is the war, and war-time activities of the Communists, that frame the narrative of Lonely Crusade.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBlack writers and the Left
EditorsKristin Moriah
Place of PublicationNewcastle upon Tyne
PublisherCambridge Scholars Publishing
Pages14-32
Number of pages19
ISBN (Print)9781443841252
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2013

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