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Louis Francis Budenz

SINCE IT IS MY FIRM OPINION THAT EVERY MAN should have a much wider culture than his specialty, you enter a library of five thousand books when you come into my New York apartment. When I lived in Westchester County, before my serious illness, the number of volumes there was even greater. It has always been my advice to young people that no matter what their occupation they should write about what they are doing and accompany such writings by much wider reading.

The urge to write has always accompanied action on my part throughout my life. When I was a very young Catholic, I wrote not only extensive articles for the local Catholic papers of Indianapolis, but also contributed frequently to the Indianapolis News in defense of Catholic social principles. When I became editor of The Carpenter, official organ of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners, I again engaged in writing a series of articles on the natural law and the right to organize. When I went to St. Louis to be the associate director of the Central Bureau of the Catholic Central Union, I wrote constantly. One specific contribution that stands out was the study of "Employers' Tactics in the Industrial Struggle," which was one of the first reviews of the use of labor spies and "private detective agencies" against the unions.

It was the same urge to write that induced me to go out to Lead, South Dakota, to champion the stand of Bishop Joseph Busch against the seven-day week.

It was then that impatience, which I have later found not to be a virtue, induced me to become critical of the Catholic Church to the point where I ceased to be a Catholic. Thereupon I immediately joined my activities as secretary of the St. Louis Civic League with a number of articles in the National Municipal Review. In 1921, I went to New York and very shortly thereafter became editor of Labor Age, which was supported by the officers of all the unions which later on became the CIO. In that capacity, I began to engage in organizational work for certain unions-leading the strikes in Kenosha, Wisconsin; Nazareth, Pennsylvania; Paterson, New Jersey; Toledo, Ohio, and other places. In each instance, I accompanied this work with continuous writing on the subject.

While still organizing, I also contributed to The Nation a series of articles critical of the Ku Klux Klan regime in Indiana. Subsequently my entry into the Communist Party in 1935 was soon followed by my being made a member of the editorial board of the Daily Worker, then the official daily organ of that Party. Two years later, I went to Chicago to found the Communist daily in that city, the Midwest Daily Record, which had a monetary success but fell afoul of the Hitler-Stalin Pact in 1939, hereby losing many readers. I then returned to New York to become president and managing editor of the Daily Worker, all through this time writing columns and articles for these respective Red organs.

Upon leaving the Communist movement and returning to the Catholic Church in October of 1945, I spent a year of agreed-upon silence at the University of Notre Dame, but during that period I wrote my book, This Is My Story, which was published after I left Notre Dame. Thereafter, I completed four more books on the Communist movement, and in 1948 became a regular columnist for the National Catholic Welfare Conference News Service. All of these activities speak for themselves, but it can be added that they were induced by the fact that so little is known of the actual operations of the Communist conspiracy even today.

Our general press maintains on the whole a strange silence as to how Moscow conveys its directives to the comrades in this country-now through the World Marxist Review, going into eighty-four countries in twentytwo different languages, the New Times and International Affairs from Moscow, Political Affairs, the official theoretical organ of the Communist Party in this country, and then into The Worker. The last named is the telegraph agency of the international conspiracy to the rank and file members in this country. Thence, what the Communists decide breaks out in acts and expressions in the general life of America, by means of the infiltration of concealed Communists.

It is to disclose this method of affecting the American mind that I am devoting so much time during these last several years. Particularly am I stimulated to do this because of the extensive plans to subvert Catholics as laid down in the March 1960, World Marxist Review. In all of this work, my hope is to follow the counsels of St. Madeleine Sophie Barat, that "the will of the Holy See may always be our compass."

EDITOR'S NOTE: Mr. Budenz was born in Indianapolis in 1891 and educated by the Jesuits of St. Xavier University, Cincinnati, and St. Mary's College, Kansas. He received his LL.B. from the Indianapolis Law School and was admitted to the Indiana State Bar in 1912. The first-born of his four daughters is an Ursuiline nun. His books include This Is My Story (Whittlesey House, 1947) and Spanish version, Esta Es Mi Historia (Barcelona, 1948); The Church and Labor: four addresses on the Catholic Hour (NCCM, 1947); Men Without Faces: the Communist Conspiracy in the U.S.A. (Harper, 1950); The Cry Is Peace (Regnery, 1952), on the Communist infiltration into American government and other positions of influence.

Originally published in The Book of Catholic Authors, Walter Romig, Sixth Series, 1960.


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