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Moscow News, founded in 1930, for years represented the official English-language press organ of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. Its establishment stemmed from a large influx of foreign, mostly American, workers who emigrated to Russia during the Great Depression. Its mastermind was American journalist and activist Anna Louise Strong, who acted in cooperation with Stalin’s cultural propagandists with the aim of providing English-speaking newcomers with an informative – and often edulcorated – view of the Soviet standards of life. Thus, throughout the years, Moscow News served as a tool of positive propaganda that the Soviet regime employed to embellish and polish its public image. As a consequence, censorship heavily affected its rhetoric, narrative, and contents, determining which issues were worthy of being reported and which ones had to be dismissed or ignored. For this reason, the newspaper is a rich resource for those who are interested in assessing the internal mechanism of the Soviet Union’s cultural diplomacy and consensus-building machine.

In the late 1940s, the newspaper and its editors became the target of Stalin’s purges. With the exacerbation of the Cold War confrontation and the worsening of the nuclear arms race, the newspaper came to represent an unnecessary open window to the regime’s internal dynamics. The newspaper’s publication was therefore interrupted between 1949 and 1956. Nevertheless, Moscow News was resuscitated during Khrushchev’s thaw. The general editorial policy of the newspaper did not change, as it continued providing a rather orthodox interpretation of the Cold War and the role of the Soviet Union in world affairs. It also continued to focus on the achievements of Russian society, covering fields ranging from sports to technology. But its structure changed completely, as it became a modern media outlet translated in as many as a dozen different languages, including Russian, and distributed worldwide. It relied on professional interpreters, translators, and copyeditors, and its style, layout, and reporting matched those of Western presses.

Content-wise, Moscow News remained substantially aligned with the Politburo’s policy, thus blaming American policy and simultaneously ignoring or underestimating crucial events in the Eastern bloc, as in the case of the Prague Spring or the revolts in Budapest. This all changed, however, with the launch of the policies of glasnost and perestroika in the 1980s, when the paper progressively endorsed a transparency campaign aimed at uncovering some of the most disturbing elements of Stalin’s reign of terror. The institutional changes that affected Russia after the end of the Cold War represented both a challenge and an opportunity for the newspaper, which moved from being Stalin’s mouthpiece to promoting democracy and the free press in Russia. Mounting criticism by Moscow News toward the current political setting in Moscow led to its definitive closure in 2014.

Moscow News Archives have been digitized in cooperation with the International Institute of Social History.

The Daily Worker Online contains 23,064 pages, from 1922 until 1966, of The Daily Worker, the official mouthpiece of the Communist Party of the United States of America (CPUSA) between 1924 and 1958, and The Worker.

The Daily Worker was the official mouthpiece of the Communist Party of the United States of America (CPUSA) between 1924 and 1958. While performing this function, the newspaper represented nevertheless much more than just a tool of political propaganda. Originally, its articles and campaigns were intended to raise working-class awareness in the US and to promote the tenets of socialism there. However, gradually, The Daily Worker started to appeal to a broader audience, not just rank-and-file Communists. Its main target became the victims of the Great Depression, the masses of the unemployed, the dispossessed, and the marginalized minorities packing American metropolises. Its reports covered a wide range of subjects, from policy reforms to labor strikes, from civil rights to housing and urban planning, from foreign policy to sports, literature, and general culture.

Given the breadth of the topics covered by The Daily Worker and the fact that it navigated some of the most transformative years of American democracy and society, including the Progressive Era, the New Deal, WWII, and the Cold War, this newspaper constitutes an excellent resource for the reconstruction and analysis of both US domestic changes and varied foreign entanglements in the first half of the twentieth century. In fact, The Daily Worker was part and parcel of the wider American public debate, not just one of its many radical voices. For many years, its articles reflected the so-called Popular Front culture and spoke to a growing, complex, and multifaceted American left. To do so in an effective way, the newspaper relied on some of the most prominent artists and intellectuals of the era, such as Woody Guthrie, Martha Graham, Lester Rodney, Mike Gold, and many others. As a result, some of The Daily Worker’s campaigns rapidly broke out of the radical realm and entered mainstream public debate. Instances of this, for example, were when the newspaper promoted racial desegregation in professional American sports, when its editors advocated for minimum wages and fair employment conditions, and when its articles contributed to popularizing the war alliance with the USSR.

Even so, The Daily Worker remained largely aligned with a communist perspective on and interpretation of both domestic and international affairs. This is the principal reason, as soon as the Cold War began and the cooperative spirit of the Popular Front disappeared, the paper took a much more orthodox turn, which put it on a collision course with both the emergence of a Cold War consensus among American liberals and, most importantly, with the staunch anti-communism that characterized 1950s America. From that moment onward, the newspaper started to be generally perceived as a destabilizing threat to American democracy. The FBI increased its surveillance of the newspaper’s editors, subscription figures dropped, and communist voices were stigmatized and marginalized. These factors all contributed to the closure of The Daily Worker at the beginning of 1958. After a brief suspension of activities, the CPUSA published a weekend paper called The Worker from 1958 to 1968.

The Daily Worker Online has been digitized in cooperation with the International Institute of Social History.