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The Popular Front collapsed because the Communists Party USA loyalty was to the Communist Party of the Soviet Union not to the people of the United States. The CPUPA was an agent of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union for its entire existence until Gorbachev cut of its funding in the late 1980s.
Mr. Rossinow insinuates the decline of the liberal and left co-operation was the fault of the prejudice of the anti-communist liberals and radicals against their former Popular Front ally, the CPUSA. He claims they fell in-line with the "Red Baiting" of the Cold War. This is a tiresome New Left claim that has been continuously made from the 1960s to today. The Popular Front could not be recreated after WW II because Americans knew that the CPAUSA was loyal to the USSR not the USA or its people. If any organization hoped to have any hope of getting its policies accepted by a majority of the American people it could not have as one of its prominent members an agent of the USSR.
The CPUSA demonstrated its loyalty to the Communist Party of the Soviet Union without exception and when there was a conflict with the interest of the people of the United States, it loyalty was always with the interest of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. In the 1930s the CPUSA defended Stalin's show trials, even when he had American Communists killed. In 1939 the CPUSA supported Stalin's decision to sign the Nonaggression Pact with Nazi Germany. After the Stalin signed the Pact, the CPUSA even supported the USSR invasion of Poland and Finland. In support of Stalin's new alliance with Hitler, the CPUSA completely changed its core principals: it called FDR an imperialist, argued against the USA preparation for possible war, and suspended it supposed alliance with liberals in its alleged fight against fascism. What a joke of an "American" party the CPUSA proved itself to be. It was obvious that no group on the left could ever trust it again.
After WW II, Liberals and non-communists leftist did not have prove that the communist party was dangerous to defend their refusal to work with it; it would taint their organizations with illegitimacy to have an an agent of a foreign power as a member that had no unbendable principal other than its total support of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.
Also Mr. Rossinow fails to mention that in 1944 the Communist Party of the Soviet Union had Browder removed as General Secretary of the CPUSA when he tried to show some independence from Stalin by proposing that the CPUSA be a true Popular Front-type organization by being willing to be part of a governing coalition and stop running its own candidates for office. The new General Secretary, William Forster, fell in line with unquestioned support of the USSR, including supporting the USSR's invasion of Poland in 1956.
Liberals and non-communist leftist had no choice but to keep the CPUSA out of its organizations, if they hoped to have any credibility with a majority of the American people..
The question real question is what would have happened had the CPUSA been independent of the USSR; isn't what would have happened had the Liberal and the non-communists leftist not "Red Baited" the CPUSA.
Also Mr. Rossinow does not mention the Democratic Leadership Council ("DLC") / "New Democrats" in this book. This omission makes the book glaringly incomplete. The New Democrats were unabashedly pro-business and they took over the Democratic Party and the Presidency of the United States from 1992 to 1999. The DLC argue that that Democrats had been too anti-business and these new "progressives" argued that Democrats could not win if if this continued. Why was this omitted?