Meanwhile, Richard works various jobs through federal relief programs. When he begins writing for leftist publications, he takes positions with federal theater companies and with the Federal Writers’ Project. To his mounting dismay, he finds that, like any other group, the Communist Party is beset with human fears and foibles that constantly frustrate its own ends. Richard’s desire to write biographical sketches of Communists and his tendency to criticize Party pronouncements earn him distrust, along with the titles “intellectual” and “Trotskyite.” After a great deal of political strife and slander that culminates in his being physically assaulted during a May Day parade, Richard leaves the Party. Unfazed by the failure of his high hopes, he remains determined to make writing his link to the world.