“Are you now, or have you ever been, a member of the Communist Party?”
After the Russian Revolution of 1917, a wave of anti-communist hysteria took hold of the United States. Many across the US feared that a second Bolshevik revolution was imminent, one that would sweep away the cherished institutions of the West – “Church, home, marriage, civility, and the American way of Life.” This was the first Red Scare. It led to massive wartime strikes, deportations, and a sustained, brutal crackdown on the political freedoms of the left, including the newly formed Communist Party of the United States of America (CPUSA).
The Second Red Scare began after World War II. Anti-communism, now a product of the Cold War, was back on the menu. And while no aspect of society remained free from its suffocating grip, a Los Angeles neighborhood known as Hollywood became the site of one of its most infamous expressions – the blacklist. The CPUSA, which since the 1930s had established a small but growing membership in Hollywood, was the prime target.
In this class, we’ll take a look at the real radicals whose lives were shaped and, in many cases, ruined by the blacklist and the pitched labor battles they engaged in to expand and protect the rights of labor in Hollywood.
Join the DSA-LA Political Education Committee for our third class of the Political Education Committee’s 5-Part Night School Series: Lost Angles Red Hollywood on August 13 at 6PM.
Each session features a brief, informal presentation followed by facilitated discussion designed to engage all levels and connect current events to foundational socialist concepts and debates.
Check out more classes in this series:
- The Horizontal City – 7/16
- Building a Radical Los Angeles – 7/30
- Legacies of LA’s Third World Left – 8/27
- The LA Secession Wars – 9/10