Thesis

The John Reed Clubs : a historical reclamation of the role of revolutionary writers in the depression

The John Reed Club was a group of politically radical writers, artists, and journalists, who aligned themselves with the struggles of the working-class and militant left during the early Depression years (1929-1935). The Clubs were in the forefront of the American proletarian literature movement, and integrally connected with the international communist front. They were the propaganda arm for many of the political and social battles of the decade. Some of the most important literary figures of the period, like Mike Gold, Joseph Freeman, Josephine Herbst, and Richard Wright, were involved with the organization. The study not only traces the history of the John Reed Clubs, but also examines the role of revolutionary cultural workers during the Depression. From those experiences, recommendations are made for those people working in radical cultural groups today. Cultural expression is necessary for any progressive movement. The author hopes that the study points to the importance of media and culture in social change.

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