DSpace Repository

Not the Socialism We Dreamed Of: Becoming Ex-Communists in the United States and New Zealand, 1956-58

Show simple item record

dc.contributor.advisor Janiewski, Dolores
dc.contributor.advisor McAloon, Jim
dc.contributor.author Blackmun, Carl William
dc.date.accessioned 2012-12-07T03:30:56Z
dc.date.accessioned 2022-11-01T23:43:44Z
dc.date.available 2012-12-07T03:30:56Z
dc.date.available 2022-11-01T23:43:44Z
dc.date.copyright 2012
dc.date.issued 2012
dc.identifier.uri https://ir.wgtn.ac.nz/handle/123456789/28208
dc.description.abstract Historians have previously analysed the crisis that gripped Western Communist parties in 1956 in response to Khrushchev’s denunciation of Stalin at the Twentieth Soviet Congress and the subsequent events in Poland and Hungary within a political and institutional frame. This thesis provides a more personal analysis of those events by examining and comparing the motivations and experiences of Communists who left the Communist Party of New Zealand (CPNZ) and the Communist Party of the United States of America (CPUSA) in the wake of the events of 1956. It uses autobiographies, memoirs, letters, oral histories, periodicals and archival sources to reveal the complex emotions and motivations which turned previously loyal Party members into ex-Communists. Through its comparative focus, the thesis also explores the different ways the CPNZ and CPUSA dealt with dissent, challenging the concept of the monolithic party and providing new insight into Communist Party organisations and the response of their leadership cadres to dissent and reformist pressures. This thesis explores the reasons why the events of 1956 resulted in a mass exodus which cost the CPNZ twenty-five percent of its membership and the CPUSA seventyfive percent of its members. It explores the responses of Communists in both parties to the revelations of Stalin’s crimes and their participation in hitherto unprecedented discussions and dissent. It examines the ways disillusioned Communists reassessed their political pasts, their present affiliations and traces their evolution into becoming ex-Communists. It then examines what ex-Communists faced in the transition to life outside the Party. In doing so, this thesis fits into an emerging scholarship that employs a more personal frame when approaching Communist history. It acknowledges the agency of individual Communists as they grappled with the consequences of de-Stalinisation, challenging narratives which portray Communists as Soviet automatons and subsume their experiences within the institutional history of the Party. The comparative focus of the thesis highlights the differences in national context and leadership responses which resulted in a much higher rate of attrition for the CPUSA than the CPNZ. en_NZ
dc.format pdf en_NZ
dc.language en_NZ
dc.language.iso en_NZ
dc.publisher Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington en_NZ
dc.rights Access is restricted to staff and students only. For information please contact the library. en_NZ
dc.subject Communism en_NZ
dc.subject Ex-communists en_NZ
dc.subject Communists en_NZ
dc.title Not the Socialism We Dreamed Of: Becoming Ex-Communists in the United States and New Zealand, 1956-58 en_NZ
dc.type Text en_NZ
vuwschema.contributor.unit School of History, Philosophy, Political Science and International Relations en_NZ
vuwschema.subject.marsden 430101 New Zealand History en_NZ
vuwschema.subject.marsden 430106 History: North American en_NZ
vuwschema.type.vuw Awarded Research Masters Thesis en_NZ
thesis.degree.discipline History en_NZ
thesis.degree.grantor Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington en_NZ
thesis.degree.level Masters en_NZ
thesis.degree.name Master of Arts en_NZ

Files in this item

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Show simple item record

Search DSpace


My Account