From the mid-1930s, Hellman became involved with left-wing politics. While never a "card-carrying" Communist Party member, she remained an ardent supporter even as events in the Soviet Union became increasingly repressive.
In 1936-1937 Hellman traveled in Europe where she met other American expatriate writers of the so-called Lost Generation, including Ernest Hemingway. She saw the Spanish Civil War first-hand and also visited the Soviet Union as well. To this period Hellman returned in her first memoir, An Unfinished Woman (1969).
Party affiliation: Communist Party