Daily Worker

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The Daily Worker was a newspaper first published in Chicago in 1924 by the American Communist Party. In 1927 the paper moved to New York.[1] While it generally reflected the prevailing views of the party, attempts were made to make it a paper that reflected the spectrum of left-wing opinion. At its peak, the newspaper achieved a circulation of 35,000. Notable contributors to its pages include Robert Minor and Fred Ellis (cartoonists), Lester Rodney (sports editor), David Karr, Richard Wright, Peter Fryer, Woody Guthrie and Louis Budenz.


Popular Front changes

Beginning in the Popular Front period of the 1930s, when the party proclaimed that "Communism is Twentieth Century Americanism" and characterized itself as the heirs to the tradition of Washington and Lincoln, the paper broadened its coverage of the arts and entertainment. In 1935 it established a sports page, edited and frequently written by Lester Rodney. The paper's sports coverage combined enthusiasm with social criticism and is remembered for consistently advocating the desegregation of professional sports.


The Daily Worker had constant financial and distribution problems. Many newsstands and stores would not carry the paper. The intense anti-communism of 1950s McCarthyism intensified the paper's difficulties. The paper did not always behave as its opponents would expect.

The membership of the American Communist Party had fallen to around 20,000 in 1956, when Khrushchev's speech to the 20th Congress of the CPSU on the personality cult of Stalin became known. The paper printed articles in support for the early stages of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution. Editor John Gates opened the paper for discussion, which seemed to promise either a revitalization or a dissolution of the party.

Despite dissension in the CPUSA, the paper finally endorsed Moscow's suppression of the uprising. In the disruptions that followed, about half of the remaining membership left the party, including Gates and many staff members of the Daily Worker.

The CPUSA was forced to cease publication of a daily paper, but the party survived. After a short hiatus, the party published a weekend paper called The Worker from 1958 until 1968. A Tuesday edition called The Midweek Worker was added in 1961 and also continued until 1968, when production was accelerated.

In 1968 the Communist Party resumed publication of a New York daily paper, now titled The Daily World. In 1986, the paper merged with the party's West Coast weekly paper, the People's World. The new People’s Daily World published from 1987 until 1991, when daily publication was abandoned.

The paper cut back to a weekly issue and was retitled People's Weekly World, which remains the paper of the Communist Party USA today.


  1. World Revolutionary Propaganda: A Chicago Study, page 58

See also

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