Eugene Dennis

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Dennis, Eugene


Born Aug. 10, 1904, in Seattle, Wash.; died Jan. 31, 1961, in New York. A figure in the American and international labor movements. The son of a worker.

From the age of 13, Dennis worked as an electrician, carpenter, and longshoreman. He took an active part in the strike movement. He joined the Communist Party in 1927 and held important positions in the party organizations of Southern California and Pennsylvania. In 1938 he became a member of the National Committee of the Communist Party of the USA. In 1944 and 1945, together with W. Foster and other Marxist-Leninists, he struggled against the revisionism and liquidationism of E. Browder and his followers and for the salvation and strengthening of the Communist Party. From 1946 to 1959 he was general secretary of the National Committee of the Communist Party. He repeatedly suffered persecution and repression. In 1950 and 1951 he was in prison. After a short period of liberty, he was again arrested and sentenced on a false conviction; he was imprisoned from 1951 to 1955. From 1956 to 1959 he led the struggle against the subversive activity of the revisionists and resolutely defended Marxist-Leninist teaching. In December 1959 he became chairman of the National Committee of the Communist Party of the USA.


In Defense of Your Freedom. New York, 1949.
Ideas They Cannot Jail New York [1950].
In Russian translation:
Stat’i i rechi (1947-1951). Moscow, 1952.
Pis’ma iz tiur’my. Moscow, 1957.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
We see Charles Adas, Lucille Ball and Minnie Mouse alongside largely forgotten figures such as Eugene Dennis, a leader of the American Communist party from 1945 until his death in 1961.
Harris Smith, in his book OSS: The Secret History of America's First Central Intelligence Agency, revealed that Donovan worked with Communist Party leader Eugene Dennis to recruit OSS personnel from communist ranks.
Steve Nelson referred him to Eugene Dennis, an important party official....
Even more dramatically, Carroll asserts that Eugene Dennis, then the de facto number two figure in the CPUSA hierarchy, sanctioned Wolff's actions with the support of other party leaders.
The Comintern archive in Moscow contains a May 1942 report by Eugene Dennis about Wolff's work for British intelligence and the American OSS.
In 1982 the historian Maurice Isserman reported that Eugene Dennis's widow, Peggy, and the veteran Communist Gilbert Green told him that Eugene Dennis had met with and furnished Donovan with information on possible recruits for the OSS after the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union.
Even more damning, Eugene Dennis, who played a central role in the Carroll version of the story, was not in the United States during most of this period and could not have met with Wolff during the period claimed.
Claiming to document a serious threat of "known Communists in the State Department" (known, that is, to the Truman administration), McCarthy (and American anticommunists) targeted not Gus Hall's and Eugene Dennis's participation in spying or recruitment of Communists as spies.
He met with Milton Wolff and Eugene Dennis (then a top CPUSA official and later head of the party) to seek Communist recruits.