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Old 01-12-2003, 12:45 PM   #1
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Those Communists really know how to throw a party!

The fiesta manifesto shows fun not just for capitalists


"Shop in advance.'' "Keep things simple but attractive.'' "Mayonnaise is cheaper and will do instead of butter.''

As party planning tips go, these would hardly rate a second glance except that they were compiled by an organization better known for its factory-floor radicalism than for its mayonnaise dip: the American Communist Party. Who knew the Reds had a Martha Stewart streak?

To be sure, "Give a Party for the Party" is no ordinary how-to manual. Published in the late 1930s by the party's New York state branch and recently rediscovered by Brandeis University historian David Engerman browsing in his campus's collection of radical pamphlets, it's a 15-page illustrated tutorial in the art of ideologically correct fraternizing.

Among the suggested high jinks: cutting editorials from The Daily Worker into little pieces and having guests compete to see who can put them back together fastest.

Or why not try a round of anti-Fascist darts? "Six throws for a nickel, and a prize if you paste ... Trotsky in the eye." (Mind you, all this doctrinaire diversion is to be had on the cheap: the pamphlet recommends conserving beer by pouring into the middle of the glass, which "gives more foam and less liquid stretches each barrel further.'')

Engerman's find was deemed sufficiently eye-opening, and amusing, to merit inclusion in the inaugural issue of American Communist History, the first non-partisan scholarly journal devoted to the history of the party in the United States. It's to appear twice a year.

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Old 01-12-2003, 07:42 PM   #2
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It's no wonder they have had no success in the U.S.

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