The Progressive Playbook: How These Candidates Pulled Off Their Upsets; How Insurgent Forces Activated, Educated and Brought the IDC Down
New York Times and Gotham Gazette
Steve Thornton has been an activist in Hartford since moving there in the 1970's after graduating from the University of Connecticut. He worked for many years for the Hartford-based health care workers union, New England District 1199, and has been involved in many organizations and campaigns there over the last 40 years. He also has a keen interest in local people's history, and some years ago started a website, shoeleatherhistoryproject.com, to popularize that history
Passed into law in 1940, the Smith Act made it illegal to "teach, advocate or encourage the overthrow" of the government and extended to any member of an organization that allegedly did so. The notion that in 1956 the Communist Party was interested in, let alone capable of, overthrowing anything was patently absurd. From a 1940's peak of around 80,000, the CP's national membership had dwindled to perhaps 10,000 by the time of the hearings in Connecticut.
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