Was the personal political? Reading the autobiography of American communism

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Taking the communist memoir as a sub-genre of working-class autobiography, the article analyzes, first, the characteristics of the communist autobiography, the conditions under which such works were produced, and their intended functions. Second, the article considers some personal dimensions of American communist history and how this more subjective side of the history relates to the more familiar political narrative of the movement. Recent feminist and other theory of autobiography are employed to analyze approximately forty communist autobiographies and other personal narrative material to analyze personal love and marriage, child rearing and family life, and self-identity within the party.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)395-423
JournalInternational Review of Social History
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 2008
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


Dive into the research topics of 'Was the personal political? Reading the autobiography of American communism'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this