A People’s History of the United States

Communism Term Analysis

A political and economic system, often referred to interchangeably with Socialism. In Communism, however, a centralized government, acting on behalf of the people, protects access to resources and ensures that citizens do not accumulate large amounts of private property. Many countries incorporate aspects of Socialism into their economies, but few countries are truly Communist. In the 20th century, the Soviet Union and the People’s Republic of China were two of the most powerful Communist countries. The definitive document of Communism remains “The Communist Manifesto,” a political pamphlet written by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels in 1848.

Communism Quotes in A People’s History of the United States

The A People’s History of the United States quotes below are all either spoken by Communism or refer to Communism. For each quote, you can also see the other terms and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
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). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Harper Perennial edition of A People’s History of the United States published in 2015.
Chapter 16 Quotes

In that same period of the early fifties, the House Un-American Activities Committee was at its heyday, interrogating Americans about their Communist connections, holding them in contempt if they refused to answer, distributing millions of pamphlets to the American public: "One Hundred Things You Should Know About Communism" ("Where can Communists be found? Everywhere"). Liberals often criticized the Committee, but in Congress, liberals and conservatives alike voted to fund it year after year.

Page Number: 435
Explanation and Analysis:
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Communism Term Timeline in A People’s History of the United States

The timeline below shows where the term Communism appears in A People’s History of the United States. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 15: Self-help in Hard Times
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Radicalism Vs. Reform Theme Icon
...jail. In the 1920s, with the Socialist party severely weakened by World War One, the Communist Party rose to a new level of prominence. The American Communist Party organized many strikes... (full context)
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Radicalism Vs. Reform Theme Icon
...to blacks and not to criticize segregation or lynching. During the thirties, some radicals, especially Communists and Socialists, tried to recruit black workers with some success. The CIO, which was heavily... (full context)
Chapter 16: A People’s War?
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The Establishment Theme Icon
Radicalism Vs. Reform Theme Icon
Militarism and Conquest Theme Icon
Bias and Historiography Theme Icon
...in American history because it was widely regarded as the “people’s war”—a fight that capitalist, Communist, working-class and upper-class Americans supported. World War Two was a fight against evil: the totalitarian,... (full context)
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Militarism and Conquest Theme Icon
...However, there wasn’t an organized black opposition to the war—or, for that matter, an organized Communist or Socialist opposition. (full context)
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...to build a national consensus. The core principals of this “liberal consensus” were opposition to Communism, support for business interests, and support for an interventionist foreign policy. The first test of... (full context)
The American People Theme Icon
The Establishment Theme Icon
Radicalism Vs. Reform Theme Icon
...society is that, throughout the late 1940s and early 1950s, American elites were searching for Communists and communist sympathizers. In the late 1940s, communists took control over the China, and the... (full context)
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In early 1950, Senator Joseph McCarthy claimed to have information about members of the Communist Party who’d infiltrated the government. McCarthy rose to become an important prosecutor of suspected Communists.... (full context)
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Many of the worst abuses of power committed in the name of anti-Communism took place during Truman’s “liberal” administration. In 1947, Truman signed an executive order asking the... (full context)
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Anti-Communism was useful in giving the government a means of convincing people to support military buildup.... (full context)
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In 1959, Cuba came under the control of Fidel Castro, a Communist revolutionary. Castro succeeded in defeating Fulgencio Batista, the U.S.-backed dictator of Cuba, and afterwards he... (full context)
Chapter 17: “Or Does It Explode?”
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...the white establishment pitted blacks against one another. Wright was briefly a member of the Communist party, and many other African American intellectuals of the early 20th century, including W. E.... (full context)
Chapter 18: The Impossible Victory: Vietnam
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...1940s, a full-scale nationalist revolution was building in Indochina. Peasants and farmers, organized by a Communist named Ho Chi Minh, demanded their rights to self-determination, citing the American Declaration of Independence... (full context)
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...money. Why? Publicly, the government claimed that it was trying to prevent the spread of Communism in Asia. However, secret government memos also cited the importance of Southeast Asia’s natural resources... (full context)
Chapter 24: The Clinton Presidency
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Radicalism Vs. Reform Theme Icon
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It’s instructive to compare the Clinton administration’s relations with two Communist nations, China and Cuba. China has a lengthy history of human rights abuses, and yet... (full context)