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 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.
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.