chapter  5
46 Pages

The Red Decade

Eugene Lyons, a one-time partisan of Communism and the USSR, bitterly disillusioned by his 1930s experiences as a journalist in the Soviet Union, termed the 1930s in the United States “the Red Decade,” involving “a grotesque and incredible revolution” that — while led by the American Communist Party — was “neither communist nor revolutionary, in the normal sense of these words,” but that “penetrated, in various degrees, the labor movement, education, the churches, college and non-college youth movements, the theatre, movies, the arts, publishing in all its branches,” as well as boring “deep into the Federal government and in many communities also into local government.” He described the dynamics as follows:

The distinguishing mark of the Red Decade was hypocrisy, manifest in false-front societies, secret inner-caucus controls, duplicate and triplicate names, high-minded lying and deceptions….