Jay Lovestone

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Person.png Jay Lovestone   SpartacusRdf-icon.png
(political activist, spook)
BornJacob Liebstein
December 15, 1897
Moǔchadz, Grodno gubernia, Lithuania, (then, Russian Empire
DiedMarch 7, 1990 (Age 92)
Manhattan, New York City, United States
Alma materCity College of New York
PartySocialist Party of America,  Communist Party USA,  AFL-CIO
US communist who ended up working for James Jesus Angleton

Former leader of the Communist Party USA expelled by Joseph Stalin in 1929 for 'idealogical deviationism.'[1]

In 1948, Frank Wisner's Office of Policy Coordination began funding Lovestone's anti-communist Free Trade Union Committee in its rivalry with the World Federation of Trade Unions.[2]

Early Life

Lovestone was born in 1987 as Jacob Liebstein into an Orthodox Jewish family in the village of Molchad in the then Polish, and later Lithuanian, province of Grodno. He would later say he was born on Christmas Day, but may have been born on 15 December.[3]

The family emigrated to New York in 1907.[4] He entered the City College of New York in 1915, becoming President of the antiwar Intercollegiate Socialist Society prior to his graduation in 1918.[5]

He entered New York University Law School in 1919. In the same year, he changed his name to Jay Lovestone, also inventing a new biography, in which he was born to a Jewish father and an English mother in upstate New York. The move was most likely a reflection of his emerging role as a political activist.[6]

Communist Party

Initially a member of the left wing of the Socialist Party, Lovestone joined Charles Ruthenberg's Communist Party of America at its foundation in 1919. He was arrested during the Red Scare in November that year.[7]

Lovestone was re-arrested in January 1920, but offered a deal in return for testifying at the trial of his friend Harry Winitsky. Ruthenburg told him to go ahead but not to say anything of value, and Lovestone duly testified. Although Winitsky did not hold this against him, the episode would later provide ammunition for his critics in the Communist Party.[8]

In June 1922, Lovestone attended a Friends of the Soviet Union conference in Berlin.[9]

By this time, Lovestone was under FBI surveillance, although he did not yet realise it, and was using the pseudonyms L.C Wheat and Roger B. Nelson.[10]

In August 1922, Lovestone was arrested at a convention held to discuss whether to continue maintaining an underground communist organisation in addition to the open Workers' Party of America.[11]

As a defence witness at Ruthenberg's trial in April 1923, Lovestone admitted to the existence of a number of Communist front organisations, including the Friends of Soviet Russia and the Federated Press news agency.[12]

Lovestone travelled to Moscow in January 1925, as part of an Americaan Communist delegation. While there, he formed a friendship with Nikolai Bukharin, who was then a factional ally of Joseph Stalin against Zinoviev and Kamenev.[13]

In August 1925, Lovestone arranged a cable from Moscow that secured the Ruthenberg faction control of the party, despite the Foster/Cannon faction having more delegates.[14]

Following the death of Ruthenberg in January 1927, Lovestone took over as Acting Secretary of the American Communist Party.[15]

He was soon attacked by the Foster-Cannon faction for speaking of the "tremendous reserve powers of American capitalism." Both sides travelled to Moscow in 1927, in an attempt to win support from the Comintern.[16]

Lovestone organised a July 1927 trade union delegation to Moscow, which was covertly backed by the Communist Party.[17]

Lovestone won control of the American Party at a convention in New York in August/September 1927. However, the factional situation in Russia was moving against him.[18]

At the Sixth Comintern Congress in July 1928, Bukharin backed Lovestone's view that "there is no revolutionary situation in America."[19] Lovestone himself challenged Stalin by calling for the struggle in the Russian party to be brought before the Congress.[20]

In an attempt to maintain his hold on the American Party, Lovestone repudiated Bukharin in March 1929, and travelled to Moscow to plead his case with Stalin.[21]

Affiliations

Connections

Lovestone was a long time friend of James Angleton, and worked for him.

External Resources



References

  1. The CIA, The British Left and the Cold War: Calling the Tune? by Hugh Wilford, Frank Cass, London 2003, p8.
  2. Wilford, op. cit. p.93.
  3. Ted Morgan, A Covert Life - Jay Lovestone: Communist, Anti-Communist and Spymaster, Random House, 1999, pp.4-5.
  4. Ted Morgan, A Covert Life - Jay Lovestone: Communist, Anti-Communist and Spymaster, Random House, 1999, p.5.
  5. Ted Morgan, A Covert Life - Jay Lovestone: Communist, Anti-Communist and Spymaster, Random House, 1999, pp.11-12.
  6. Ted Morgan, A Covert Life - Jay Lovestone: Communist, Anti-Communist and Spymaster, Random House, 1999, pp.13-14.
  7. Ted Morgan, A Covert Life - Jay Lovestone: Communist, Anti-Communist and Spymaster, Random House, 1999, pp.17-18.
  8. Ted Morgan, A Covert Life - Jay Lovestone: Communist, Anti-Communist and Spymaster, Random House, 1999, pp.20-22.
  9. Ted Morgan, A Covert Life - Jay Lovestone: Communist, Anti-Communist and Spymaster, Random House, 1999, p.30.
  10. Ted Morgan, A Covert Life - Jay Lovestone: Communist, Anti-Communist and Spymaster, Random House, 1999, p.31.
  11. Ted Morgan, A Covert Life - Jay Lovestone: Communist, Anti-Communist and Spymaster, Random House, 1999, p.29.
  12. Ted Morgan, A Covert Life - Jay Lovestone: Communist, Anti-Communist and Spymaster, Random House, 1999, p.38.
  13. Ted Morgan, A Covert Life - Jay Lovestone: Communist, Anti-Communist and Spymaster, Random House, 1999, pp.48-49.
  14. Ted Morgan, A Covert Life - Jay Lovestone: Communist, Anti-Communist and Spymaster, Random House, 1999, p.54.
  15. Ted Morgan, A Covert Life - Jay Lovestone: Communist, Anti-Communist and Spymaster, Random House, 1999, p.65.
  16. Ted Morgan, A Covert Life - Jay Lovestone: Communist, Anti-Communist and Spymaster, Random House, 1999, p.68.
  17. Ted Morgan, A Covert Life - Jay Lovestone: Communist, Anti-Communist and Spymaster, Random House, 1999, p.59.
  18. Ted Morgan, A Covert Life - Jay Lovestone: Communist, Anti-Communist and Spymaster, Random House, 1999, p69.
  19. Ted Morgan, A Covert Life - Jay Lovestone: Communist, Anti-Communist and Spymaster, Random House, 1999, p.73.
  20. Ted Morgan, A Covert Life - Jay Lovestone: Communist, Anti-Communist and Spymaster, Random House, 1999, p.75.
  21. Ted Morgan, A Covert Life - Jay Lovestone: Communist, Anti-Communist and Spymaster, Random House, 1999, pp.81-83.