It Had To Be Revolution


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It Had To Be Revolution
Memoirs of an American Radical
Charles Shipman
From Publishers Weekly:

Although Shipman (1895-1989) was not a leader of the American left, his exceptionally vivid memoir recalls an unusual life and evokes the spirit of early 20th-century radicalism. Born Charles Phillips in New York City, he discovered socialism while a student at Columbia University. He first attracted attention in 1918, when he resisted induction into the Army. Subsequently, he fled to Mexico, where, using one of a series of pseudonyms, he met the Soviet ambassador Michael Borodin. In 1920, he attended the Second Congress of the Communist International in Moscow and was impressed by the charismatic Lenin. His path eventually led to Chicago, where as Manuel Gomez, he joined the then-clandestine Communist Party. By 1929 he was in New York City again, as Charles Shipman, a secretly anti-capitalist financial journalist (his ideology prompted him to discourage investment in stocks; ironically, his pre-crash negativism was eventually to give him a reputation for astuteness). Although he was expelled from the Party in 1932, he was not disillusioned until the Moscow show trials of 1938. He embarked upon a successful business career and, even during the McCarthy era, his Communist past only rarely intruded. Photos.
From Library Journal:
This is the story of an adventurous life in the extraordinary interwar period when everything was being turned upside down. Shipman (1895-89) joined the Communist Party after World War I and traveled widely, working to build communism in Mexico and the United States. Although he worked with other professional revolutionaries such as Michael Borodin and even had an audience with Lenin, his memoir is most interesting for the details of routine party work–the fear, boredom, confusing infighting, and lack of funds. After falling out with the Communists over Stalin in the 1930s, Shipman entered the American economic mainstream. An interesting addition for collections in U.S. and Latin American history and Communist studies. — Daniel Blewett, Loyola Univ. Lib., Chicago
Foreword by Harvey Klehr ix
Preface xvii
1 The Right or Wrong School for a Bad Boy 1
2 Trying — Not Very Hard — to Adjust 7
3 Columbia, the Socialist Club, and a Wonderful Magazine 12
4 The Ford Peace Expedition 21
5 Eleanor 29
6 “Will You Be Drafted?” 34
7 Confirmation from Afar 42
8 Camp Upton 46
9 The Road to Mazatlán 50
10 Jesús Escobar 60
11 Byways Untouched by the Mexican Revolution 69
12 Mexico City and the Cinco Gatos 71
13 Not Really a “Red” Newspaper 77
14 Borodin 82
15 Revolutionist by Profession 92
16 In Soviet Russia 100
17 Lenin, Trotsky, and a Historic Congress 108
18 Goodbye to John Reed 119
19 A Frustrated Mission to Mexico 127
20 Manuel Gómez and Wife in Chicago 134
21 The Anti-Imperialist Department 153
22 Moscow after Eight Years 169
23 Temporary Refuge in Wall Street 175
24 Definitely Sylvia 179
25 My “Demarche into Cultural Work” 184
26 A Father out of a Job 190
27 Bertolt Brecht and the Theater Union 194
28 Painful Disillusionment 202
29 More Shipman than Gómez 205
30 A Different Man and a Different War 208
31 Railroading and High Finance with Robert R. Young 211
32 I’d Rather Be in Wilton 218
33 A Proposal That Could Not Be Refused 222
34 Rich and Poor in New Canaan 226
35 Italy, Israel, and Rumania 229
36 After All 233
Epilogue 235
Index of Names 237

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Weight 1.3 lbs


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