Cultural Left's Argument Over Us Participation in World War Ii

Place of Publication, Page Reference and Title of essay written by

Dwight McDonald, which appears in Partisan Review, Spring 1939

regarding US entry into World War II. The essay contains the quote

that WWII was about 'political and cultural submission to the ruling

class at home'

Request for Question Clarification byscriptor-ga

Dear margaretmorgan,

Are you sure that the article appeared in a 1939 spring issue? World

War II began only on 1 September of that year, when Germany invaded

Poland. How could Dwight MacDonald write about possible U.S.

participation in a war that had not even started yet then? This is a

bit confusing; maybe it was a later issue of that magazin?


One thought on “Cultural Left's Argument Over Us Participation in World War Ii

  1. The article in question was:

    D[wight] M[acDonald], 'This Quarter ? War and the Intellectuals: Act

    Two', Partisan Review, Spring 1939, vol. VI, no. 3, pp. 3-20.

    The quote you referenced was cited in a book:

    Pollock and after: The Critical Debate

    by Francis Frascina

    Harper & Row, 1985

    which I located by searching for the quote at

    The actual passage in the Frascina book is as follows:


    In the editorial of the Spring 1939 issue of Partisan Review titled

    'War and the Intellectuals: Act Two', Dwight MacDonald appealed to

    intellectuals to resist the drive towards a second war. Spuriously

    presented as a crusade for democracy the war was, in fact, a war in

    the interests of the capitalist ruling class and itself a product of

    capitalism. MacDonald insisted that support for the war under the

    banner of opposition to fascism abroad meant 'political and cultural

    submission to the ruling class at home'. He restated opposition to the

    Stalinist policy of a united front against European fascism. American

    intellectuals seemed to have forgotten that there was a genuine

    alternative to capitalism and its wars ? social revolution.


    I trust this answer fully meets your needs. But before rating this

    answer, please let me know if there's anything else I can do for you.

    Just post a Request for Clarification, and I'm at your service.

    All the best,


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *