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Benjamin Gitlow Trials: 1920-25

Gitlow V. Stalin

Gitlow continued agitating, but in 1929, when in Moscow as a delegate to the Comintern, he defied Josef Stalin to his face. He told Stalin that plans developed in Moscow would not work in America. He was expelled from the Comintern and then from the U.S. Communist Party. For a while, he worked with some dissident Communist groups, but by the late thirties, he had become bitterly anti-Communist. He testified before many congressional committees and wrote and lectured extensively against Communism. He died in 1965.

For all his activity, though, his greatest legacy comes from the case he fought all the way up to the Supreme Court—and lost at every stage.

William Weir

Suggestions for Further Reading

Gitlow, Benjamin. I Confess: The Truth About American Communism. New York: E. P. Dutton, 1940.

Irons, Peter. A People's History of the Supreme Court. New York: Viking, 1999.

Murray, Robert K. Red Scare: A Study in National Hysteria, 1919-1920. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1955.

Pfeffer, Leo. This Honorable Court: A Complete Account of a Unique American InstitutionThe Supreme Court. Boston: Beacon Press, 1965.

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1918 to 1940Benjamin Gitlow Trials: 1920-25 - Darrow For The Defense, "i Ask No Clemency", The Fourteenth Amendment, Unnoticed Landmark, Gitlow V. Stalin