Holiday Historical Context

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Communism and the Red Scare

Though “Holiday” was first published in 1960, the influences that shaped the story come from the time at which it was written, the early 1920s. Just a few years earlier, Lenin and the Bolsheviks had overthrown the czar in Russia. The revolution fostered increasing paranoia about communism in the United States, especially for business tycoons who feared the organization of labor. This paranoia, dubbed the Red Scare, led to the enactment of some dubious laws, including the Sedition Act of 1918, which prohibited citizens from making public remarks critical of the government and its policies. Union organizer and socialist Eugene Debs was tried and convicted under this law in 1918 (he was later released when the Sedition Act was repealed in 1921.) Katherine Anne Porter claimed on more than one occasion that she herself was a communist in the early 1920s, when this story was written. Because...

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This section contains 346 words
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Buy the Holiday Study Guide
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