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He joined the American Communist Party in 1932. He is noted for his role in founding Partisan Review with William Phillips in 1933. The journal broke with the Soviet line in 1937 in the wake of the Moscow Trials and maintained an ongoing feud with StalinistPopular Front advocates such as Granville Hicks of New Masses. As an independent publication, Partisan Review went on to become the most influential literary journal of the period. According to Partisan Review co-editor William Barrett's "The Truants: Adventures Among the Intellectuals", the Marxist Rahv had a healthy contempt for "Liberals", whom he viewed as appeasers of Joseph Stalin's post-World War II Soviet Union. "He [Rahv] read the Liberal weeklies and the New York Times indefatigably, and the more he read, the more apoplectic he became. "Those goddamned Liberals, " he fumed, "they'll end up giving away the whole of Western Europe to Stalin. He won't even have to make a push for it, they'll make a present of it to him."