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Hammer and HoeAlabama Communists during the Great Depression$
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Robin D. G. Kelley

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781469625485

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469625485.001.0001

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The Democratic Front

The Democratic Front

(p.176) Ten The Democratic Front
Hammer and Hoe

Robin D. G. Kelley

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter examines the Democratic Front in Alabama. By late 1937, Birmingham became the only sustained center of Party Activity in the state. Communist leaders increased their efforts to attract progressive urban elites, especially white liberals, but failed to achieve their goal of attaining a legal, respectable standing in regional and local politics. CP leaders eventually realized that the broad-based Popular Front led by Communists in Spain or France could not succeed in the US. They decided then to refashion the US Popular Front into a more realistic, political accommodating policy. The Democratic Front, as it was called, retained the pro-Roosevelt rhetoric but departed from the Popular Front by accepting a furtive role in coalition politics. The Democratic Front offered Communists the only doorway into the world of Southern liberals, largely because the extent of their political isolation was more severe in the South compared to the rest of the US.

Keywords:   Alabama, Democratic Front, Communists, Popular Front

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