Foster, William Z. (1881-1961)

James R. Barrett

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingEntry for encyclopedia/dictionary


Born in Taunton, Massachusetts and raised in the slums of Philadelphia, William Z. Foster passed through the Socialist Party, the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), and a series of his own syndicalist organizations to become one of the key figures in the Communist Party USA (CPUSA). He was the party's presidential candidate in 1924, 1928, and 1932 and its chairperson from 1932 to 1957, years which saw the party's decline from a major progressive influence in the Popular Front of the late 1930s and the World War II era to an isolated, sectarian organization during the McCarthy era of the early 1950s.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe International Encyclopedia of Revolution and Protest
EditorsImmanuel Ness
PublisherJohn Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
ISBN (Electronic)9781405198073
ISBN (Print)9781405184649
StatePublished - Apr 20 2009


  • 1800-1899
  • 1900-1999
  • Americas
  • comparative history
  • Lenin, Vladimir
  • Northern America
  • political history
  • United States of America
  • communism
  • labor movements
  • rebellion
  • socialism


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