New York: Civil Rights Congress, 1949 (?). No Edition Stated. A four-page promotional leaflet and membership application for the Civil Rights Congress, a front group of the Communist Party USA. The CRC sought to raise money to defend 12 leaders of the Communist Party who had been indicted on charges of conspiring to overthrow the U.S. government.
"You, as an American -- cannot stand by while your democratic heritage is in danger. Each of us must do our share for freedom now, or accept our share of the guilt for bringing fascism to America."
The striking cover image shows a swastika at 12 o'clock, with the large hand of the clock at 5 minutes to midnight and the caption, "Communist leaders indicted." Other parts of the clock show such captions as "Spy Scare," "Ku Klux Klan Flourishes," "Growing Anti-Semitism," "Lynchings Increase," "Hollywood 10 Cited," etc. The rear cover prints a membership application and contribution form.
Single sheet, folded to make four square 16mo pages. Folded once horizontally, small staple mark at upper corner, light toning at extremities, else a Very Good copy. An uncommon, ephemeral item; OCLC lists a single holding, at the University of California, Davis. As of mid-September 2016, there were no other copies on the market. RARE. Item #886
The image on the clock -- 5 minutes to midnight -- is a reference to the Communist Party's belief that fascism was imminent in America and that Communists had to be prepared to go underground if necessary.