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Dorothy Healey Remembers

Oxford University Press

By Maurice Isserman
Posted January 1, 1990
Tags Faculty Books
Dorothy Healey was a member of the Communist movement in the U.S. from 1928 until 1973, leading the Southern California District for over 20 years. She is one of the few women to rise to power in the American Communist Party. She is a survivor of the epic labor struggles of California’s migrant workers in the 1930s and at one point even had a $10,000 price on her head, as she was hunted by vigilantes and police.

Dorothy Healey Remembers: A Life in the American Communist Party, recounts her life in her own words, written in collaboration with William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of History Maurice Isserman. Isserman edited and supplemented Healey’s engaging narrative. He fills the story, drawing from private letters, the recollections of friends and relatives, newspaper articles, and secret FBI documents.

Healy is remembered as a strike leader, opponent of McCarthyism, Vietnam War protestor, radio commentator and candidate to public office. She was accused of being subversive and arrested under the Smith Act during the McCarthy era.   She and her fellow defendants eventually took their case all the way to the Supreme Court, which ruled key provisions of the act unconstitutional.

The book received recognition as a 1990 Gustavus Myers Outstanding Book Award Winner. Dorothy Healy Remembers has become an indispensable resource for historians and students interested in the Communist movement in the U.S.

Reviews

"This marvelously well-told life story of a rare fascinating woman is surely destined to become a classic in the annals of American political history."
Jessica Mitford
Author of A Fine Old Conflict

"If this country ever gets around to acknowledging its true heros, Dorothy Healey will be high on the list. It is wonderful to have her life story - and to have it told so enthrallingly."
Martin Bauml Duberman
Author of Paul Robeson

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