Marxist IQ: CPUSA history

BY:Tony Pecinovsky| April 1, 2020
Marxist IQ: CPUSA history


This IQ is offered by Tony Pecinovsky, author of Let Them Tremble: Biographical Interventions Marking 100 Years of the Communist Party, USA, which can be purchased at International Publishers.

1. During the dark days of the McCarthy era, thousands of Communist Party, USA, members were hounded, harassed, or thrown in jail on trumped-up charges of conspiring to overthrow the U.S. government by “force and violence.” Millions of activists—Marxist and non-Marxists, New Dealers, union leaders, civil rights activists, and others—were investigated. Constitutional liberties were assaulted. Which CPUSA leader served time in jail during the McCarthy era and went blind due to the negligence of prison authorities?

a. Gus Hall
b. Benjamin Davis, Jr.
c. Elizabeth Gurley Flynn
d. Henry Winston


2. During the early 1960s youth and student upsurge, activists on college and university campuses across the country defiantly challenged McCarthy-era thought control by inviting Communists to speak on their campuses. It is conservatively estimated that Communists spoke with at least ______ youth and students on over 100 campuses as part of this upsurge.

a. 10,000
b. 500
c. 100,000
d. 250,000


3. In 1961 the African American activist-scholar W. E. B. Du Bois officially joined the Communist Party, USA. While hounded and harassed in the United States, Du Bois was treated like a dignitary in newly independent Ghana where he moved in 1961 to work on the publication of

a. Africa Speaks
b. The Crisis
c. Black Reconstruction
d. The Encyclopedia Africana


4. During the 1960s and 1970s Civil Rights and Black Power movements—as schools were being desegregated; lunch counter sit-ins were taking place; and Freedom Riders were traveling South to challenge Jim Crow laws, register voters, march, and protest—which organizations did Communists work for, work with, or help build?

a. Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee
b. Black Panther Party
c. Southern Christian Leadership Conference
d. All of the above.


5. In the early 1970s, after the worldwide campaign led by Communists eventuated in the acquittal of Angela Davis, which Communist-initiated organization was formed out of the roughly 200 local Free Angela Davis Committees?

a. National Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression
b. Southern Poverty Law Center
c. National Lawyers Guild
d. Civil Rights Congress


Answers here.




    Tony Pecinovsky is the author of Let Them Tremble: Biographical Interventions Marking 100 Years of the Communist Party, USA, and author/editor of Faith in the Masses: Essays Celebrating 100 Years of the Communist Party, USA. He has written for the St. Louis Labor Tribune, Political Affairs, Shelterforce, AlterNet, Z-Magazine, People’s World, and the journal American Communist History, among other publications. He is the president of the St. Louis Workers’ Education Society and speaks regularly on college and university campuses across the country. He lives and works in St. Louis, MO.

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