Morris Schappes Dies at 97 - Marxist and Jewish Scholar
- Mr. Schappes (pronounced SHAP-pess) was at the eye of a political storm in 1941 when he was fired by the City College of New York along with nearly 50 other Communist-leaning employees. He went to prison for perjury in testifying to a state legislative committee on the case and used his time behind bars to study Jewish history in preparation for writing well-reviewed books on the subject.
He combined a passion for Jewish culture and history with a commitment to atheistic Marxism. His magazine, originally a Soviet-backed Communist organ, became something of an intellectual home for secular Jewish leftists unwilling or unable to turn to religion or to more conservative politics.