Minor, Robert, 1884-1952

Cartoonist, journalist, anarchist, and later a key figure in the Communist Party of the USA.. Under the auspices of the International Workers' Defense League (IWDL),of which he was, for a time, treasurer Minor was instrumental in organizing support for Thomas Mooney following Mooney's February 1917 conviction for the Preparedness Day bombing.He wrote articles in the February, March and May 1917 issues of The Blast condemning Mooney's conviction.He had already published  the "Frame Up System" pamphlet through the IWDL in late 1916 and thousands of copies of the pamphlet were distributed throughout California, and  elsewhere, during the period of this volume.  Minor was called to testify before a grand jury in San Francisco by District Attorney Charles M. Fickert on 11 July 1917, and  was questioned about various editorials in The Blast. As a result of  Minor's testimony Fickert predicted additional indictments would be handed out, claiming Minor had provided enough evidence to show that anarchists had plotted to bomb the Preparedness Day parade on 22 July 1916. No indictments were forthcoming, however. Minor opposed American entrance into World War I, and drew anti-war cartoons for both the The Masses and The Liberator (for which he was a contributing editor) until 1918 and in March 1918's The Liberator wrote an article "The Peril of Tom Mooney." He served on the advisory committee of the League for the Amnesty of Political Prisoners, established in February 1918. In March 1918 he traveled to Russia to observe the revolution, and interviewed Lenin twice. The New York World published one of the interviews on 4 February 1919 in which Minor criticized what he felt were Lenin's authoritarian practices. In reaction Max Eastman denounced Minor's anti-Bolshevik views in the March 1919 edition of The Liberator in an article entitled "Robert Minor and the Bolsheviki." After nine months in Russia, Minor traveled to Dusseldorf, Germany and worked with the Spartacist Group. He then traveled to Paris and was arrested on 8 June 1919 by French police and jailed by American authorities , in Coblenz,on the charge of undermining troop morale by distributing Bolshevik propaganda. The journalist Lincoln Steffens spoke to American authorities on his behalf, and Minor was released. When Minor had returned to the United States at the end of 1919 he embarked on a nationwide lecture tour speaking against the Bolsheviks in Russia. However in the October 1920 edition of The Liberator he dismised his anarchism in an article entitled "I Change My Mind a Little."and embraced Bolshevism.  Marcus Graham, under the alias Fred S. Graham, challenged Minor’s denunciations of anarchism in Anarchism and the World Revolution: An Answer to Robert Minor (NP: USA, 1921), a pamphlet in which Graham attacked Minor’s belief in the dictatorship of the proletariat as well as Minor's statement  The Liberator article that absolute liberty did not exist. Minor became a leading organizer for the Communist Party of the USA. in the 1920s.  During the period of this volume he  contributed articles and illustrations to The Liberator, The Masses, Frayhayt, The Blast, The Philadelphia Public Ledger, The New York Call, The International Socialist Review, The New York World, The London Daily Herald and The Butte Daily Bulletin. See also Book 3.

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