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Lovestone, Jay (1897–1990)

BORN JACOB LIEBSTEIN, he immigrated with his parents to the Lower East Side of New York City from Lithuania at age 10. At City College of New York, he was a student activist and a member of the Communist Party USA (CPUSA) from its inception in 1919. He was close to party leader Charles Ruthenberg and took over leadership of the party after Ruthenberg died. As leader of the CPUSA, he purged the Trotskyite followers of J.P. Cannon, who advocated a more “federal” communism, with autonomous national workers' movements rather than the centralized, Soviet-focused movement of the Leninist-Stalinist wing. Then in 1929, Lovestone himself was purged because he supported Nikolai Bukharin and the right-wing opposition, which wanted collectivization of industry and agriculture to progress more ...

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