Flynn, Elizabeth Gurley, 1890-1964Alternative names
Note at end of May 14 letter: Miss Flynn died in Moscow in August of that year (1964)
From the description of Correspondence, with Edward C. Weber, 1964. (University of Michigan). WorldCat record id: 34366435
Elizabeth Gurley Flynn (1890-1964) was a leading Irish-American Communist, socialist, feminist, labor organizer, orator, and campaigner for civil liberties. Joe Hill (1879-1915), labor songwriter and member of the Industrial Workers of the World (many of his songs appear in the IWW Songbook ), was convicted of murder after a politically charged trial and executed by the State of Utah on November 19, 1915.
From the guide to the Elizabeth Gurley Flynn: Joe Hill Case Materials, 1915, (Tamiment Library / Wagner Archives)
From the description of Elizabeth Gurley Flynn tape recording, 1962. (Wayne State University, Archives of Labor & Urban). WorldCat record id: 32320839
Elizabeth Gurley Flynn (1890-1964), was a leading Irish-American Communist, socialist, feminist, labor organizer, orator, and campaigner for civil liberties. Raised by socialist and Irish nationalist parents, she gave her first speech at the age of fifteen. She became an organizer for the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) and while aiding the Western Federation of Miners was briefly married to Jack Jones, the father of her son Fred, born in 1910. During her involvement in the IWW's Lawrence, Massachusetts textile strike of 1912 she met and fell in love with anarchist organizer Carlo Tresca, with whom she lived for the next twelve years. In 1917 she founded and chaired the International Liberty Defense League (later the Workers Liberty Defense Union) until 1924, when the International Labor Defense was formed. She was also an officer of the Garland Fund, and a founder of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). After the execution of Sacco and Vanzetti in 1927, Flynn fell seriously ill and spent nine years in Oregon where she lived with feminist activist Dr. Marie Equi. In 1936 Flynn returned to New York and joined the Communist Party of the United States (CPUSA), in short order becoming a member of its Central Committee, and later its Political Bureau, and finally Chair, 1961-1964. During these years she wrote a bi-weekly column "Life of the Party" for the Daily Worker, wrote an autobiography, (variously, I Speak My Own Piece and The Rebel Girl ), ran for political office, attended international conferences, was expelled from the ACLU in 1940 for her Communist Party membership. In 1952, her leadership role with the CPUSA resulted in her trial under the Smith Act and in her conviction and imprisonment for 28 months in prison under the Smith Act. Upon her release, Flynn wrote a prison memoir, published as The Alderson Story . She died in Moscow in September, 1964.
From the guide to the Elizabeth Gurley Flynn Photographs, 1895-1967, (Tamiment Library / Wagner Archives)
Elizabeth Gurley Flynn (1890-1964) was born in Concord, New Hampshire, daughter of Irish immigrant revolutionaries. In 1906, she joined the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) and was active in textile strikes in Lawrence, Massachusetts (1919), and Paterson, New Jersey (1913), the Minnesota Mesabi Range mining strike (1916), and the Passaic, New Jersey, strike of 1926. Gurley was a founding member of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in 1920. In 1937, she joined the Communist Party, and was jailed 1955-1957 for advocating violent overthrow of the United States government. She died in Moscow. Carlo Tresca (1879-1943), a Socialist, was born in Salmona (L'Aquila) Italy. He was active in the socialist workers' movement in Italy and in 1904 came to the United States to avoid a prison sentence. Tresca was editor of Il Proletario, La Pleke, L'Avvenite, and Il Martello. He was an anti-Fascist, member of the Mazzini Society, and an anti-Communist. He was assassinated in New York City.
From the description of Papers, 1922-1944. (University of Minnesota, Minneapolis). WorldCat record id: 62803026
From the guide to the Elizabeth Gurley Flynn Papers, 1922-1944, (University of Minnesota Libraries. Immigration History Research Center [ihrc])
Elizabeth Gurley Flynn was an agitator and organizer for the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) and, later, a Communist Party (CP) official. In an era when street life and mass strikes were important in people’s lives, Flynn’s notoriety was akin to that accorded to media stars today. In major strikes in Lawrence, Massachusetts and Paterson and Passaic, New Jersey, the Rebel Girl, as she was called, led immigrant workers. A great orator, Flynn saw labor court trials as important extensions of organizing, and participated in fights for free speech in Missoula, Montana (1908), and Spokane, Washington (1909-1910). As part of her defense work she created the Workers’ Defense League, an organization to fight for the victims of the post-World War I Red Scare, and helped establish the American Civil Liberties Union. Writing leaflets, pamphlets, articles, and a regular newspaper column for twenty-six years continued her protest campaigns in permanent form.
Her political life was long, successful and dramatic; she began speaking on street corners when she was 16. Her personal life was colorful and tragic, and could qualify for a soap opera. Gurley, as friends and family referred to her, was no prude, gave speeches for the IWW on birth control and wrote poems and letters about her broken heart, and many romantic flings. She was a gifted storyteller, came from a colorful family and liked eating and drinking and having a good time.
Why then isn’t Elizabeth Gurley Flynn better known among labor and American historians, civil libertarians and activists? She has not become an iconic figure of the women’s liberation movement, like Emma Goldman, Margaret Sanger. There is only one full-length biography, one collection of her writing, and two Ph.D. theses.
There are reasons that she is under-recognized and hidden from history. She was a communist and jailed for her belief. McCarthyism left a deep scar on the American public and communists are still vilified. Flynn was a leading member of the IWW, but Americans prefer rugged individuals, rather than organization members. Up until the publication of the microfilm there has been no easily available collection of her work. The microfilm contains her writing depicting the complexities of her political life, Flynn the team player, but also a dissenter in the IWW and communist party.
Flynn wrote for the unschooled masses so that high school students as well as those doing doctoral research could easily read her work. Her life was affected personally by major worldwide events like World War 1 and 11, the Palmer Raids and McCarthy period. The microfilm includes her writings on these events in pamphlets, letters, columns and drafts for her unpublished autobiography of her latter years. Her columns include articles about women’s suffrage, International Women’s Day, and the Spanish, French and American revolutions, plus portraits of Irish, French, Russian, and American revolutionaries, as well as her relatives and illustrious and less known friends.
Insurgent genes from a family of reformers and activists were passed on to Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, the eldest daughter, born in 1890 in Concord, New Hampshire. Her mother, Annie Gurley, related to George Bernard Shaw, emigrated from Ireland. She supported the family through tailoring, and resented it referred to as sewing. She advocated equal rights for women and endowed her children with a keen knowledge of Irish history, English classic literature, Greek mythology and working-class solidarity. Thomas Flynn, Elizabeth’s father, earned a living sporadically, and his contributions to the family were political rather than economic. He ran for the New York State Assembly in 1920 on the Socialist Party ticket, getting more votes than the Republican. The Flynn household was a center for Irish freedom fighters like James Larkin and James Connolly who were impressed by Elizabeth’s intelligence and encouraged her rebellious nature.
The young Elizabeth Gurley attended Socialist meetings with her parents and read The Worker and other left publications as well as the works of Edward Bellamy, Upton Sinclair, Karl Marx, and Frederick Engels. Mary Wollstonecraft’s Vindication of the Rights of Women and August Bebel’s Women and Socialism finally propelled her into socialist activism. At fifteen Flynn mounted her first soapbox to inaugurate her career as a “jawsmith” as professional agitators were then called. Her experience, coupled with youthful beauty and radiance and a passion to remake the world made her a moving spokesperson.
By the end of 1906, Flynn had been arrested-her first of many- and was speaking regularly, using a style that appealed to the emotions and provoked arguments. Broadway producer, David Belasco tried to lure her onto the stage, but as she told him, she wanted to, “speak her own piece.” Attending school seemed irrelevant and dull in comparison to bringing about a new socialist order, which she and other radicals at this time believed was just around the corner. So, she dropped out of school, a decision she never regretted, and joined the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) in 1906 as an organizer.
As “One Big Union,” the IWW stood in direct opposition to the staid American Federation of Labor (AFL), which primarily organized skilled white men. The Wobblies, as they were called, were a young (beginning in 1905), irreverent labor union and social movement that sought to organize unskilled, immigrant, and migrant workers, no matter what their race, sex or creed. From 1906 to 1918, Flynn, one of the few female IWW organizers, and certainly their youngest, alongside other flamboyant agitators like Big Bill Haywood and Eugene V. Debs, used her oratorical talent, energy, and commitment in strikes and free speech battles through out the country.
In Minnesota’s Mesabi Range in 1908 she spoke to miners about the IWW and fell in love with the West, and with IWW member, Jack Jones. Flynn, naïve, romantic, and by her own account, lusty, married Jones in January 1908, and left him almost immediately for speaking engagements. After two years, and with a baby due, Flynn decided that she had fallen out of love and did not want to settle down. She left Jones and returned home to the Bronx to live with her supportive mother and sisters, who babysat Fred Flynn (born on May 19, 1910) so that she could continue her life as an organizer. Later she regretted that she had missed being an attentive, present mother.
Flynn organized iron miners in Minnesota, copper miners and timber workers in Montana, textile workers in the renowned 1912 Lawrence, Massachusetts strike, silk workers in Paterson, New Jersey in 1913, and hotel cooks and waiters in New York City. The IWW met strong and sometimes violent resistance. Towns tried to discourage labor organizers by enacting legal restrictions on free speech. Fueled by zealous commitment, the IWW generally regained the right to speak in public.
In major strikes of the century, Flynn led the organizing operations. Lawrence, Massachusetts was a major textile-producing center in 1912. Flynn estimated that 30,000 workers were employed in the woolen mills there, paid starvation wages for their labor in dirty, noisy, unventilated and unsafe conditions. The IWW became the organizing core of the strike, with Flynn giving speeches and arranging for outside speakers and entertainment, setting up schools and dances, organizing the food distribution, arranging to send the children away from the violence and sustaining long parades and pickets that formed many blocks of human chains. The incredibly violent Lawrence strike -- one woman was killed and many beaten and injured -- brought news reporters and humanitarians to Lawrence, fueling a nationwide protest that helped to force the employers to negotiate. On March 14, 1912 the strike was settled with worker demands for wage increases and increased overtime pay met. Another outcome of the Lawrence Strike was Flynn’s encounter with the don of Italian anarchists, Carlo Tresca, who became her lover for fourteen years (1912-1926) and remained the love of her life until he was murdered in 1943. He edited an Italian-language anarcho-syndicalist newspaper, was a master of propaganda and agitation and often aroused uncontrollable emotions that landed him in jail.
With the victory of the Russian Revolution, the U.S. government grew alarmed about Bolshevism and immigrant radicals. Repressive legislation was passed culminating in the Palmer Raids. In 1919 IWW headquarters in many cities and towns were raided, IWW leaders arrested, and tens of thousands of immigrants beaten, jailed and some deported. Flynn response was to mobilize a broad coalition, the Workers Defense Union (WDU) to represent the more than fifteen hundred political prisoners. More than 170 labor, socialist and radical organizations participated in the truly united front organization consisting of unions, cooperative apartments, vegetarians, consumers and progressive women. Over the next five years Flynn worked tirelessly to raise money, provide lawyers and bail, publicize cases, provide relief for families, visit prisoners and appeal to government agencies to secure pardons. Most of the people she represented were poor and remained unknown, but a few, like. Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti, who absorbed Flynn’s energy from 1919-1926, became a worldwide celebrated cause. These indictments decimated the IWW and other left organizations.
Along with defense work, she worked tirelessly on the Passaic Strike of 16,000 woolen workers in 1926, the longest textile strike in history, lasting over a year, and a dismal failure, partly due to Communist Party and union sectarian battles. Flynn’s constant organizing, traveling, and hectic life began to take a toll. Emotionally she felt betrayed and devastated because Tresca, always a ladies man, had a child in 1923 with Elizabeth’s younger sister, Bina. In 1926, she finally collapsed physically and mentally.
She spent most of the next ten years recuperating in Portland, Oregon, at the home of Dr. Marie Equi, an out lesbian, who was involved in prison reform, and provided abortions and dispensed birth control, which was then illegal. In a letter, there are hundreds in the microfilm, to her sister Kathie, Elizabeth described this period as one of the most difficult in her life, but it gave her chance to reflect, rest, and plan for the future. Prompted by the suicide of her brother Tom, and a need to be with her son, and her mother, who were both ill, Flynn returned east in 1937.
Shortly after her return to New York, Flynn became a member and a paid officer in the Communist Party of the United States. (CP). She saw joining the CP, a the largest most important left organization during the New Deal period, as a way to continue her IWW commitment to labor organizing and defense work. The Party was the largest at this time in its U.S. history, having doubled its membership between 1936 and 1938 to just over 80,000. The Party leaders had long wooed her, as she had a devoted following. The transition was not entirely smooth; having come from a loose anarcho-syndicalist movement, she was unaccustomed to and uncomfortable with party discipline and doctrinal shifts, often directed from Moscow. She preferred militant direct organizing to bureaucratic reform work, radio talks, and internal party politics. Her constituency remained the immigrant workers and, in the late fifties and sixties, the militant civil rights workers and students. Coming into the Party at the top, she never developed her own base, although she was one of its most popular speakers and columnists. However, she adjusted, largely remained silent when she disapproved and carried out the zigzag Party policy in speeches and writings. In her personal writings, included in the microfilm, she jotted down her disagreements.
She assumed the position of Chair of the CP Women’s Commission, a largely honorific, powerless post, and in 1938 was elected to the Party’s National Committee; but she was more of a figurehead than a power broker. In 1942, Flynn ran unsuccessfully for a Congressional seat in New York, receiving 50,000 votes. Flynn was also a regular and popular teacher at the Party’s Jefferson School and at their national training school.
Flynn had barely settled into CP life when she was ousted from the National Board of Directors of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which she had helped found. In l940 the ACLU demanded that Communists resign from official posts. Flynn alone refused and defended her position. Refused a hearing, she was expelled. The ghost of Flynn’s expulsion for guilt by association haunted the ACLU. In l976 they repudiated their ouster on grounds that it was inconsistent with their basic principles.
The Cold War period from 1945-1955 was a difficult one, especially for CP members and other leftists. During the New Deal and the War the Party was tolerated because the Democratic Party needed it to push liberal legislation and help organize the Congress of Industrial Organizations, and Russia was a U.S. ally. After the war Russia became the number one enemy and the communists enemies within. CP members and sympathizers often lost their jobs, were shunned and suspected of being anti-American. CP membership declined by almost fifty percent due to the repression and fear. In 1948 several members of the CP and other radical aliens were arrested and held for eventual deportation. Later that year twelve top CP leaders, the entire National Board, but Flynn, were arrested for having violated the Smith Act by conspiring to teach and advocate the overthrow of the U.S. government by force and violence.
Flynn, with her expertise in defense organization, became the chair of the Smith Act Defense Committee. She toured the country, speaking, raising money for publicity, legal fees and for families support; and alerted Americans to the threat to their basic freedoms, the right of assembly and the right to free speech. Anti-Communist hysteria mounted with the Korean War and the Rosenberg trial. Loyalty oaths were enforced and books burned. The McCarran Act was passed mandating government registration of communists and members of communist front organizations. The FBI sent agents to the support committee meetings to disrupt and sympathizers were tarred by guilt by association. States passed anti-subversion laws, and communists were denied the right to unemployment and Social Security benefits and were evicted from their homes. The records of the CIA and FBI spying on Flynn, opening her letters, spying on anyone to whom she talked, even the waitress at the luncheonette where she ate breakfast, are included in the microfilm.
In June 1951, a second group of Smith Act victims, referred to as “second string CP leadership,” were arrested and prosecuted. The New York Times referred to Flynn as the most notorious and important. Flynn acted as her own counsel, bearing the brunt for ten months of the courtroom offensive. She was eloquent, courageous and witty, calling up her long career and personal reasons for joining and advancing the Party. Judge Dimock was so impressed with Flynn’s intelligence and belief in the Bill of Rights that he offered Flynn the option of spending the rest of her life in Russia as a substitute for prison. Flynn’s reply to this unprecedented offer was: “I am an American; I want to live and work in the United States of America. I am not interested in going any place else and would reject any such proposition.” On January 20, 1953, all defendants were found guilty.
Between 1953 and 1955 Flynn waited while the case went through the appeals process, and in this waiting time wrote the autobiography of her life prior to joining the CP, I Speak My Own Piece, published first in 1955, and later in 1973 republished and called The Rebel Girl. The political rather than personal autobiography minimizes her leading role in the IWW, probably to emphasize her CP years, but nevertheless it is powerful, informative and often exciting. On January 11, 1955, Flynn went to Alderson Federal Penitentiary for Women in West Virginia to serve her twenty-eight month sentence.
Flynn tells the story of her incarceration in The Alderson Story: My Life as a Political Prisoner, which she wrote after her release and published in 1963. Elizabeth was assigned to a maximum-security residence and clearly at 64, arthritic and overweight, with high blood pressure, she was no threat. Flynn was much older than most of the prisoners and had a hard time with the noise, loud music and adolescent personalities. She used the time to read over 200 books, poetry, plays, classics philosophy and psychology. She had intended to write the second half of her autobiography, but prison officials censored her writing and paper was even hard to obtain.
Flynn left Alderson Prison on May 25, 1957. During her last year in jail, Khrushchev’s speech in the fall of 1956 to the Twentieth Party Congress revealed Joseph Stalin’s brutal crimes against his own party members. As if this wasn’t damning enough, the Soviet invasion of Hungary followed. U.S. Party membership declined by 85%, the largest percentage drop in history. So, a month after her release, Flynn was on the go again.
In 1960 she attended a fiftieth anniversary celebration in Copenhagen of International Women’s Day. She had wanted to visit the Soviet Union for some time, and so accepted many invitations to speak in the socialist world and celebrate May Day in Moscow. For eight months she traveled, spoke and was treated to the comforts and pleasures she had been deprived of under capitalism. She wrote such glowing reports from the socialist world that even the Daily Worker readers objected to the unadulterated praise. On returning to the United States, she was elevated to the post of Party chair, but with her appointment the job became largely symbolic.
Under new State Department regulations issued in 1961, strictly enforcing the McCarran Act, Flynn was denied the right to travel. When the Supreme Court struck down the passport provision of the Act in 1964, she returned to the Soviet Union to finish her autobiography in peace. But the flesh was no longer willing, even though her spirit was strong. She was hospitalized within a month of her arrival and died on September 5, 1964, of stomach and intestinal inflammation aggravated by a blood clot to her lungs. Flynn was given a full-scale state funeral in Red Square with over twenty-five thousand people attending, before being returned, to be buried in Chicago’s Waldheim Cemetery close to the Haymarket Martyrs in accordance with her wishes. The New York Times gave her a substantial front-page obituary. In October a memorial service was held for her at the Community Church with over a thousand people attending.
For more than half a century Flynn was a professional revolutionary, and an agitator against capitalism. She spoke, organized workers, and wrote pamphlets, newspaper columns and books to convince ordinary people that private ownership and the profit system were inhumane and not part of the American revolutionary tradition. During her illustrious and stormy life she was best known as a fiery orator, organizer and a remarkable publicist. As an indigenous Marxist of the heart, nurtured by class struggle and her parent’s working class socialism, her strength was her ability to communicate with working people. Her autobiographical writings, speeches and articles, all contained in the microfilm, call attention to the crucial issues of the century, war, poverty, sexism and civil liberties and are written in a clear, simple style generally avoiding party rhetoric and political cliché.
--Rosalyn Fraad Baxandall
- Rosalyn Fraad Baxandall, “Elizabeth Gurley Flynn: The Early Years,” Radical America, 8:6 (Jan-Feb 1975).
- _______________. Words on Fire: The Life and Writing of Elizabeth Gurley Flynn. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1987.
- Helen C. Camp, Iron in Her Soul: Elizabeth Gurley Flynn and the American Left. Pullman, WA: Washington State University Press, 1995.
- Cole, Stephen Charles, “Elizabeth Gurley Flynn: A Portrait.” Ph. D. Dissertation, Indiana University, 1991.
- Elsa Jane Dixler, “The Woman Question: Women and the American Communist Party, 1929-1941.” Ph. D. Dissertation, Yale University, 1974.
- Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, The Alderson Story: My Life as a Political Prisoner. New York: International Publishers, 1963.
- _______________, I Speak My Own Piece: Autobiography of ‘The Rebel Girl.’ New York: Masses and Mainstream, 1955. (Reissued as The Rebel Girl, An Autobiography: My First Life, 1906-1926. New York: International Publishers, 1973.)
- Margaret Gerteis, “Coming of Age with the Industrial Workers of the World: The Early Career of Elizabeth Gurley Flynn.” M.A. Thesis, Tufts University, 1975.
- Rebecca Hill, “Nothing Personal? Women in the Communist Party, U.S.A., 1940-1956.” B.A. Thesis, Wesleyan University, 1991.
- Benjamin H. Kizer, “Elizabeth Gurley Flynn,” Pacific Northwest Quarterly, 58 (1966).
- Corliss Lamont, editor. The Trial of Elizabeth Gurley Flynn by the American Civil Liberties Union. New York: Horizon Press, 1968.
- Audrey P. Olmsted, “Agitator on the Left: The Speechmaking of Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, 1904-64.” Ph.D. Dissertation, Indiana University, 1971.
- Robert Shaffer, "Women and the Communist Party USA, 1930-1940," Socialist Review, No. 45, May-June 1979.
- Kate Weigand, Red Feminism: American Communism and the Making of Women’s Liberation. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2001.
From the guide to the Elizabeth Gurley Flynn Papers, 1896-1964, (Bulk 1937-1964), (Tamiment Library / Wagner Archives)
Elizabeth Gurley Flynn (1890-1964) was an orator, writer, organizer for the Industrial Workers of the World, a founder of the American Civil Liberties Union and a leading member of the Communist Party USA. These materials, shedding light on Flynn's life and political interests, were formerly in the possession of Peter Martin, the son of Carlo Tresca and Elizabeth Gurley Flynn's sister, Bina. They later came into the possession of Flynn's niece, Roberta Bobba. After her liaison with Tresca and the birth of her son Peter, Bina Flynn married Romolo Bobba. Bobba (1890-1958), the father of Roberta Bobba, was an Italian socialist-anarchist. According to his daughter Roberta, Romolo Bobba was one of the members of the Industrial Workers of the World imprisoned at Fort Leavenworth after the major I.W.W. trial of 1918 in which most of the I.W.W. leadership, as well as a number of rank-and-file members, were convicted under the Espionage Act. This small collection of documents, clippings and memorabilia was apparently gathered together by Flynn's nephew, Peter Martin, shortly after her death.
- The Guide to the Elizabeth Gurley Flynn Papers (TAM #118)
From the guide to the Elizabeth Gurley Flynn: Peter Martin and Roberta Bobba Materials, Bulk, 1908-1964, 1856-1964, (Tamiment Library / Wagner Archives)
Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, a key figure in early 20th century labor struggles, used her exceptional skills as an orator to speak for working people as a member and leader of a number of labor and radical organizations. Flynn was an early member of the Industrial Workers of the World and participated in its major strikes including the 1912 Lawrence strike and the 1913 Paterson silk strike. She joined the IWW's free speech movement in the Northwest, later helping to found the American Civil Liberties Union in 1920. By 1952, after many years with the Communist Party, her leadership role with the CP resulted in her trial under the Smith Act and in her conviction and imprisonment for two years. Flynn remained a political activist until her death in 1964.
From the description of Nonprint collection, 1895-1967. (New York University). WorldCat record id: 477227768
Elizabeth Gurley Flynn (1890-1964), was a leading Irish-American Communist, socialist, feminist, labor organizer, orator, and campaigner for civil liberties. Raised by socialist and nationalist parents, she gave her first speech at the age of fifteen. She became an organizer for the Industrial Workers of the World and while aiding the Western Federation of Miners was briefly married to Jack Jones, the father of her son Fred, born in 1910. During her involvement in the Lawrence, Massachusetts textile strike of 1912 she met and fell in love with Carlo Tresca, with whom she lived for the next twelve years. In 1917 she founded and chaired the International Liberty Defense League, later the Workers Liberty Defense Union until 1924 when the International Labor Defense was formed, was an officer of the Garland Fund, and was a founder of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). After the execution of Sacco and Vanzetti in 1927 Flynn fell seriously ill and spent nine years in Oregon where she lived with feminist Dr. Marie Equi.
In 1936 Flynn returned to New York and joined the Communist Party, in short order becoming a member of its Central Committee, and later its Political Bureau, and finally Chair, 1961-1964. During these years she wrote a bi-weekly column "Life of the Party" for the Daily Worker, ran for political office, attended international conferences, was expelled from the ACLU in 1940 for her Communist Party membership, and served 28 months in prison under the Smith Act and wrote a prison memoir, published as The Alderson story. She died in Moscow on September 5, 1964.
From the description of Papers, 1896-1964 (bulk 1937-1964) (New York University). WorldCat record id: 78434331
|Place Name||Admin Code||Country|
|Textile Workers' Strike, Lowell, Mass., 1912--Pictorial works|
|Women political activists--United States--Portraits|
|Silk Workers' Strike, Paterson, N.J., 1913|
|Anti-fascist movements--United States|
|Women and socialism--United States|
|Women labor leaders--United States--Portraits|
|Women communists--United States--Portraits|
|World War, 1914-1918|
|May Day (Labor holiday)--United States--Pictorial works|
|Women labor leaders--Portraits|
|Political crimes and offenses--United States|
|Textile Workers' Strike, Lawrence, Mass., 1912--Pictorial works|
|Civil rights--United States|
|Women radicals--United States--Portraits|
|Communist trials--United States|
|Italian Americans--Political activity|
|Silk Workers' Strike, Paterson, N.J., 1913--Pictorial works|
|Textile Workers' Strike, Lawrence, Mass., 1912|
|Strikes and lockouts--Textile industry|
|Women and socialism|
|Mesabi Iron Range Strike, 1916|
|Strikes and lockouts--United States--Pictorial works|
|May Day (Labor holiday)--Pictorial works|
|Irish Americans--Political activity|
|Strikes and lockouts--Textile industry--United States|
|Italian American socialists|
|Political crimes and offenses|
|Sacco--Vanzetti Trial, Dedham, Mass., 1921|
|Trials (Political crimes and offenses)--United States|
|Strikes and lockouts--Miners|
|Women political activists--Portraits|
|Strikes and lockouts|