While documentary films often reveal the economic and social catastrophes that beset us, they also unconsciously illuminate a fundamental failing of our time-our incapacity to imagine an alternative future. This is why American Reds is a story for our times. The Communist Party USA, despite its grievous faults and failings, and its willful blindness to the tyranny of Soviet Union, still had vision of a better world. Communists recognized that the solution to America's social, political and economic injustices required a resolution of the contradictions of our society; and that this could not take place within the existing social order. Communists were aware that any concrete gains the Party made for working people and against racism and sexism could easily be retracted under the existing system. Equality, social justice and an equitable distribution of wealth require an alternative society, a new order of things. Thus it is that the battlefields on which American communists fought the...