The Autobiography of an American Communist; A Fine Old Conflict

In This Review

The Autobiography of an American Communist

By Peggy Dennis
Lawrence Hill, 1977
300 pp. $12.95
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A Fine Old Conflict

By Jessica Mitford
Knopf, 1977
352 pp. $10.00
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These books, describing the authors' lives in the American Communist Party, gain in interest when read together. Peggy Dennis, the widow of Party leader Eugene Dennis, is the daughter of Jewish immigrants from Russia; Jessica Mitford is the daughter of an English peer and one of the Mitford sisters. Dennis is sincere, passionate and informative about her own life and her husband's. The book concludes with her moving 1976 letter of resignation from the Party because of the narrow prejudices of the leadership. Mitford, never near the leadership, presents a rambunctious, often hilarious account of Party organization and disorganization.