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|Publisher||Communist Party USA|
|Ceased publication||1950s (daily)|
The Daily Worker was a newspaper published in New York City by the Communist Party USA, a formerly Comintern-affiliated organization. Publication began in 1924. While it generally reflected the prevailing views of the party, some attempts were made to reflect a broader spectrum of left-wing opinion. At its peak, the newspaper achieved a circulation of 35,000. Notable contributors to its pages included Robert Minor and Fred Ellis (cartoonists), Lester Rodney (sports editor), David Karr, Richard Wright, John L. Spivak, Peter Fryer, Woody Guthrie and Louis Budenz.
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The ancestry of the Daily Worker goes back to the weekly Ohio Socialist published by the Socialist Party of Ohio out of Cleveland from 1917 to November 1919. The Ohio party joined the nascent Communist Labor Party of America at the 1919 Emergency National Convention.
The Ohio Socialist became Toiler in November 1919. In 1920, with the CLP going underground, Toiler became the party's "aboveground" newspaper published by "The Toiler Publishing Association." It remained as the Cleveland aboveground publication of the CLP and its successors until February 1922.
In December 1921 the "aboveground" Workers Party of America was founded and the Toiler merged with Workers Council of the Workers' Council of the United States to found the six page weekly The Worker.
This became the Daily Worker beginning January 13, 1924.
The Ohio Socialist only used whole numbers. Its final issue was #94 November 19, 1919. The Toiler continued this numbering, even though a typographical error made its debut issue #85 November 26, 1919. Beginning sometime in 1921 the volume number IV was added, perhaps reflecting the publications fourth year in print, though its issue numbers continued the whole number scheme. The final edition of the Toiler was Vol IV #207 January 28, 1922. The Worker continued the Toilers numbering during its run Vol. IV #208 February 2, 1922 to Vol. VI #310 January 12, 1924. The first edition of Daily worker was numbered Vol. I #311.
Popular Front changes
In politics, the Daily Worker consistently adhered to a Stalinist party line from the time of Joseph Stalin's rise to power in the Soviet Union. The paper maintained a series of correspondents in Moscow, including Vern Smith in the middle 1930s, who invariably depicted Soviet reality in the most favorable light. The paper upheld the verdicts of the Moscow trials, widely criticized at the time as show trials, and later exposed as having used fabricated evidence and extorted confessions. The Daily Worker's editorials constantly criticized any and all opponents of Stalinist socialism, including other communists, such as Leon Trotsky, who was assassinated at Stalin's order in 1940.
Beginning in the Popular Front period of the 1930s, when the party proclaimed that "Communism is Twentieth Century Americanism" and characterized itself as the heirs to the tradition of Washington and Lincoln, the paper broadened its coverage of the arts and entertainment. In 1935 it established a sports page, with contributions from David Karr, the page was edited and frequently written by Lester Rodney. The paper's sports coverage combined enthusiasm for baseball with the usual Marxist social critique of capitalist society and bourgeois attitudes, and today is primarily noted for consistently advocating the desegregation of professional sports.
Post-World War II
The Daily Worker had constant financial and distribution problems. Many newsstands and stores would not carry the paper. The revelations of Soviet MVD spy rings inside the U.S. government, the 1945 revelations of Daily Worker managing editor Louis Budenz, a self-admitted recruiter of agents for the Soviet NKVD (forerunner of the MVD and KGB), combined with the resultant intense anti-communism of the 1950s (labeled McCarthyism) caused a large drop in the paper's circulation.
The membership of the American Communist Party had fallen to around 20,000 in 1956, when Khrushchev's speech to the 20th Congress of the CPSU (the "Secret Speech") on the personality cult of Stalin became known. The paper printed articles in support for the early stages of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution, a popular revolt by the Hungarian people against continued domination by the Soviet Union, which had installed a puppet regime, the János Kádár government, in Budapest and had begun to persecute its political opponents. The Daily Worker's editor, John Gates opened the paper for discussion of the topic, a novel event for a party-line newspaper, and one appeared to promise further liberalization and dialogue inside the Communist Party in the United States.
Despite widespread dissension in the CPUSA, the paper finally endorsed Moscow's suppression of the Hungarian uprising. In the disruptions that followed, about half of the remaining party membership left the party, including Gates and many staff members of the Daily Worker.
The CPUSA was forced to cease publication of a daily paper, but the party survived. After a short hiatus, the party published a weekend paper called The Worker from 1958 until 1968. A Tuesday edition called The Midweek Worker was added in 1961 and also continued until 1968, when production was accelerated. According to ex-CIA agent Philip Agee, a large number of subscribers during this period were CIA agents or front companies linked to the CIA. Agee claimed that the CIA's funding in this manner prevented the Worker from having to cease publication.
Two newspapers and a merger
In 1968 the Communist Party resumed publication of a New York daily paper, now titled The Daily World. In 1986, the paper merged with the party's West Coast weekly paper, the People's World, which had been slightly less closely hewed to the Moscow political line as the New York party organization and paper had been. The new People’s Daily World published from 1987 until 1991, when daily publication was abandoned.
The paper cut back to a weekly issue and was retitled People's Weekly World (later retitled to People's World as to de-emphasize the weekly component), which remains the paper of the Communist Party USA today. Print publication of the People's World ceased in 2010 in favor of an online edition.
Currently (2012), People's World claims that, "Peoplesworld.org is a daily news website of, for and by the 99% and the direct descendant of the Daily Worker." Its publisher is Long View Publishing Company. The online newspaper is a member of the International Labor Communications Association and is indexed in the Alternative Press Index. Its staff belong to the Newspaper Guild/CWA, AFL-CIO.
When he joined the newspaper in 1926, Whittaker Chambers later recollected that "Harvey O'Connor was then effective editor of the Daily Worker." According to Chambers, O'Connor (1897-1987) had worked for the Federated Press, "a labor news service that the Communist Party" and was later author of Mellon's Millions" about Andrew William Mellon (1855–1937). Recruiting Chambers was Harry Freeman, brother of Joseph Freeman (who would later succeed Chambers as editor-in-chief of the New Masses.) He also mentioned that "Louis Katterfeld" (better known as L. E. Katterfeld) was the newspaper's "New York representative" or agent.
Before the Party established the Workers Library Publishers in late 1927, the party used to Daily Worker Publishing Company imprint to publishes its pamphlets.
- The state and revolution: Marxist teaching on the state and the task of the proletariat in the revolution by Vladimir Lenin Chicago: Daily Worker Pub. Co., 1924
- The white terrorists ask for mercy Chicago; Published for the Workers Party of America by the Daily Worker Pub. Co. Feb 1925
- Trade unions in America by William Z. Foster, Earl Browder and James Cannon Chicago, Ill. : Published for the Trade Union Educational League by the Daily worker 1925 (Little red library #1) alternate link
- Class Struggle vs. Class Collaboration. by Earl Browder Chicago: Published for the Workers Party of America by the Daily worker publishing company, 1925 (The little red library #2) alternate link
- Principles of Communism: Engels's Original Draft of the Communist Manifesto. translated by Max Bedacht Chicago: Published for the Workers Party of America by the Daily worker 1925. (Little Red Library #3) alternate link
- Worker Correspondents: What? When? Where? Why? How? by William F. Dunne Chicago, Ill. : Published for the Workers Party of America by the Daily Worker Pub. Co., 1925 (The Little red library #4) alternate link
- Poems for workers, an anthology edited by Manuel Gomez Chicago: Published for Workers Party of America by Daily Worker Pub. Co., 1925 (Little Red Library #5)
- The theory and practice of Leninism by Joseph Stalin Chicago: Published for the Workers Party of America by the Daily Worker Pub. Co., 1925
- The Party Organization. Chicago: Published for the Workers (Communist) Party by the Daily Worker Publishing Co. 1925
- Leninism or Trotskyism by Joseph Stalin, Lev Kamenev and Grigory Zinovyev Chicago: Published for the Workers Party of America by the Daily Worker Pub. Co., 1925
- Lenin: his life and work by Yemelyan Yaroslavsky Chicago: Daily Worker Pub. Co., 1925
- The Movement for World Trade Union Unity. by Tom Bell Chicago: Daily Worker Pub. Co., 1925
- British imperialism in India; speech delivered in the House of Commons, July 9, 1925 by Shapurji Saklatvala Chicago: Daily Worker Pub. Co., 1925
- Fairy tales for workers' children by Hermynia Zur Mühlen, trans. by Ida Dailes Chicago, Ill., Daily Worker Pub. Co. 1925
- The fourth national convention of the Workers (Communist) Party of America : Report of the Central Executive Committee to the 4th national convention held in Chicago, Illinois, August 21st to 30th, 1925 : resolutions of the Parity Commission and others. Chicago: Daily Worker Publishing Co., 1925
- From the Third through the Fourth Convention of the Workers (Communist) Party of America by Charles E. Ruthenberg Chicago, Ill. : Published for the Workers (Communist) Party of America by the Daily Worker Pub. Co., 1925
- The international: words and music. [New York] : Daily Worker New York Agency, Dec 1925
- Marx and Engels on revolution in America by Heinz Neumann Chicago : Daily Worker Pub. Co., 1926 (The little red library #6) alternate link
- The damned agitator and other stories. by Michael Gold Chicago : Daily Worker Pub. Co., 1926 (The little red library #7) alternate link
- 1871: the Paris commune by Max Shachtman Chicago: Daily Worker Pub. Co. 1926 (The little red library #8) alternate link
- How class collaboration works by Bertram David Wolfe Chicago: Daily Worker Pub. Co. 1926 (The little red library #9) alternate link
- The menace of opportunism; a contribution to the bolshevization of the Workers (Communist) Party. by Max Bedacht Chicago: Daily Worker Pub. Co., 1926
- The British strike : its background, its lessons by William F. Dunne Chicago: Daily Worker Pub. Co., 1926
- Passaic: The Story of a Struggle against Starvation Wages and for the Right to Organize. by Albert Weisbord Chicago; Published for the Workers (Communist) Party by the Daily Worker Pub. Co., November 1926.
- Red cartoons from the daily worker, the workers monthly and the liberator: Communist publications Chicago, Ill. : Daily Worker Pub. Co., 1926
- The awakening of China by James Dolsen Chicago, Ill. : Daily Worker Pub. Co., 1926
- Labor conditions in China and its labor movement by James H Dolsen Chicago, Ill. : Daily Worker Pub. Co., 1926
- Lenin on organization. by Vladimir Lenin Chicago, Ill. : Daily Worker Pub. Co., 1926
- Elements of political education. Vol. I by Nikolai Bukharin, A Berdnikov and F Svetlov Chicago : Daily Worker, 1926
- The case of Sacco and Vanzetti in cartoons from the Daily worker by Fred Ellis Chicago : Daily Worker, 1927 alternate link
- Constitution of the U.S.S.R. by V Yarotsky and N Yekovsky Chicago : Daily Worker, 1927 (The little red library #10) alternate link
- `Jim Connolly and the Irish rising of 1916 by G Schüller Chicago: Daily Worker Pub. Co., 1926 (The little red library # 11) alternate link
- Red cartoons of 1927 from the daily worker and the workers monthly Chicago ; New York : Daily Worker Pub. Co., 1927
- China in revolt by Executive Committee of the Communist International New York, Daily Worker Pub. Co., 1927 The little red library #12 Alternate link
- The Labor Lieutenants of American Imperialism. by Jay Lovestone New York: Daily Worker Publishing Co., 1927.
- Red cartoons from the Daily Worker 1928 New York : Daily Worker, 1928
- 1929 Red cartoons : reprinted from the daily worker New York : Comprodaily Pub. Co., 1929
- How to sell the Daily Worker. New York, Daily Worker, 1920s
- Burning Daylight by Jack London New York, Daily Worker, 1930s
- "Soviet dumping" fable: speech by Litvinov New York : Published for Daily Worker by Workers Library Publishers, 1931
- Anti-soviet lies and the five-year plan: the "Holy" capitalist war against the Soviet Union by Max Bedacht New York: Published for Daily Worker by Workers Library Publishers, 1931
- Dimitroff accuses by Georgi Dimitrov New York, Daily Worker, 1934
- The iron heel by Jack London New York, Daily Worker, 1934
- The ruling clawss by A Redfield New York, Daily Worker, 1935 (cartoons)
- Hunger and revolt: cartoons, by Jacob Burck New York, Daily Worker, 1935
- Martin Eden by Jack London New York, Daily Worker, 1937
- How the Auto Workers Won William Z. Foster and William Z Foster New York: The Daily Worker, 1937
- The Daily worker, heir to the great tradition, by Morris Schappes New York, Daily Worker, 1944
- Dixie comes to New York: story of the Freeport GI slayings by Harry Raymond; intro. by Benjamin Davis New York, Daily Worker, 1946
- The killing of William Milton by Art Shields New York, Daily Worker, 1948
- The Ingrams shall not die!: story of Georgia's new terror by Harry Raymond; intro. by Benjamin J. Davis New York, Daily Worker, 1948
- A tale of two waterfronts by George Morris New York, Daily Worker, 1952
- "Throw the bum out": official Communist Party line on Senator McCarthy. New York, Daily Worker, 1953-1954
In popular culture
In the Seinfeld episode "The Race", Elaine discovers her new boyfriend is a communist by finding a copy of the Daily Worker in her apartment, which sees George respond to a personal ad in the Daily Worker and Kramer, who is working as a department store Santa Claus, is eventually convinced to become a communist by Elaine's boyfriend.
- Earl Browder
- Gus Hall
- David Karr
- People's World
- Whittaker Chambers: foreign editor in the 1920s
- Jacob Burck: cartoonist in the 1920s
- Louis Budenz: editor in 1940s
- Lester Rodney: sports writer/editor
- Pederson, Vernon (January 11, 2008). "Take It As Red". On The Media for National Public Radio.
Founded in 1924, the Daily Worker – which ceased to be a daily 50 years ago – was the de facto house organ of American Communism.
- Goldwater, Walter Radical periodicals in America 1890-1950 New Haven, Yale University Library 1964 pp.10, 30, 42, 46
- "About the People's World". People's World. Retrieved 24 March 2012.
- Chambers, Whittaker (1952). Witness. New York: Random House. pp. 206–207, 218–229, 252–259. ISBN 978-0-89526-789-4.
- O'Connor, John (1933). Mellon's Millions. New York: John Day Company.
- Fetter, Henry D. "The Party Line and the Color Line: The American Communist Party, the Daily Worker and Jackie Robinson." Journal of Sport History 28, no. 3 (Fall 2001).
- Gottfried, Erika, "Shooting Back: The Daily Worker Photographs Collection," American Communist History, vol. 12, no. 1 (April 2013), pp. 41–69.
- Lamb, Christopher and Rusinack, Kelly E. "Hitting From the Left: The Daily Worker's Assault on Baseball's Color Line". Gumpert, Gary and Drucker, Susan J., eds. Take Me Out to the Ballgame: Communicating Baseball. Cresskill, NJ: Hampton Press, 2002.
- Rusinack, Kelly E. "Baseball on the Radical Agenda: The Daily and Sunday Worker Journalistic Campaign to Desegregate Major League Baseball, 1933-1947". Dorinson, Joseph, and Woramund, Joram, eds. Jackie Robinson: Race, Sports, and the American Dream. New York: E.M. Swift, 1998.
- Smith, Ronald A. "The Paul Robeson-Jackie Robinson Saga and a Political Collision". Journal of Sport History 6, no. 2 (1979).
- Evans, William Barrett. "Revolutionist Thought in the Daily Worker, 1919-1939". Ph.D. diss. University of Washington, 1965.
- Jeffries, Dexter. "Richard Wright and the ‘Daily Worker’: A Native Son’s Journalistic Apprenticeship". Ph.D. diss. City University of New York, 2000.
- Rusinack, Kelly E. "Baseball on the Radical Agenda: The Daily and Sunday Worker on Desegregating Major League Baseball, 1933-1947". M.A. Thesis, Clemson University, South Carolina, 1995.
- Shoemaker, Martha Mcardell. "Propaganda or Persuasion: The Communist Party and Its Campaign to Integrate Baseball". Master’s thesis. University of Nevada, Las Vegas, 1999.
- Chambers, Whittaker (1952). Witness. New York: Random House. pp. 218–229, 252–259. ISBN 978-0-89526-789-4.
- Hemingway, Andrew. Artists on the Left: American Artists and the Communist Movement, 1926-1956. New Haven, Yale University Press, 2002.
- Schappes, Morris U. The Daily Worker: Heir to the Great Tradition. New York: Daily Worker, 1944.
- Silber, Irwin. Press Box Red: The Story of Lester Rodney, The Communist Who Helped Break the Color Line in American Sports. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2003.
- Partial series archive at the Online Books Page
- The Daily Worker Cartoon Archive, Marxists Internet Archive. —Selected political cartoons from 1924 and 1926, listed by artist.
- Daily Worker FBI files. File number 61-275 Volume 5. Heavily redacted files from roughly 1948–late 1950s. Retrieved May 16, 2005.
- Baseball on the Radical Agenda by Kelly E. Rusinack.
- "A Sickening Red Tinge": The Daily Worker's Fight Against White Baseball by Kelly Rusinack and Chris Lamb. Cultural Logic, Volume 3, Number 1, Fall 1999.
- "An Interview with Lester Rodney". CounterPunch. Weekend Edition, April 3/5, 2004. Retrieved May 16, 2005.
- Front page of the Daily Worker Vol. 2 #216 Dec. 1, 1924