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