This pathbreaking collection of essays recasts the prevailing conceptions of the historical roots and role of the U.S. Communist Party and its social setting. The contributors focus on the movement that formed around the party and the popular culture it expressed, particularly in the period from 1930 to 1960. They look at the impact of the party and its followers in the areas of education, literature, and the arts, in the African-American community, and on the women's and labor movements. In their preface, the editors place the book in the context of the broader critical examination of the history of the left in the United States. By analyzing the historical reasons for the party's appeal and its relationship to those outside its ranks, the volume contributes to a fuller understanding of the broader societal context within which all oppositional movements are formed. Contributors (in order of appearance in book): Michael E. Brown, Mark Naison, John Gerassi, Stephen Leberstein, Ellen Schrecker, Rosalyn Baxandall, Roger Keeran, Gerald Horne, Annette T. Rubinstein, Marvin E. Gettleman, Alan Wald, and Gil Green (interviewed by Anders Stephanson).