"Jimmy Higgins": The Mental World of the American Rank-and-file Communist, 1930-1958

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Greenwood Press, 1988 - Political Science - 283 pages
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This study fills a conspicuous gap in the secondary literature on the Communist Party by examining the mental world of the wholly committed rank-and-file Party member. Jimmy Higgins was an imaginary composite considered the ideal for members to emulate; the attitudes and beliefs held by Jimmy Higgins-type members have not been adequately studied until now. As Kraditor demonstrates these members differed in important ways from the Party leaders and cadre, and also from the vast majority of members who belonged to the Party for only a few years. Basing her analysis on a detailed textual examination of thousands of pages of Party publications and on her own experience as a long-term Party member, Kraditor reconstructs the second reality in which the devout rank-and-file member lived.

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Jimmy Higgins

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About the author (1988)

AILEEN S. KRADITOR is Professor Emerita of History at Boston University.

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