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conservative Republican family. Her uncle and aunt were Kathleen
and Charles Norris, both American “firsters.” Kathleen
Norris, a very reactionary lady, was the sister of Helen's
father, and so you can see that they came from a rather conservative
family. Helen had a brother named David, and what
happened to Helen and David nobody knows but they suddenly
became more and more leftist. When the Spanish Was broke out,
Dave Thompson enlisted in the Lincoln Brigade and went over
to Spain to fight for the Republic in Spain, like so many
hot-blooded young Americans did then, who believed in democracy.
Helen became rather well-known in New York because she
got mixed up with a very leftist union called the Book and
Magazine Guild. They were out-and-out leftists.
Was this a forerunner of the Authors Guild?
No. It was a union for people who worked in publishing
houses--all the workers--the bookkeepers and all the people
who worked in the book and magazine world. Unionizing these
people was a perfectly laudable and respectable idea, but
unfortunately they got mixed up with the same union that employed
the workers in department stores--the elevator manipulators
and inventory takers and whatnot. What connection these
two had nobody knows, but they did become the same union and
the leaders of the union--many of them--were flaming Communists.
At the time that I met Helen, this combination had not
yet quite come about. It was just the Book and Magazine Guild,
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