978-0-252-01148-1 / 9780252011481

Eugene V. Debs: CITIZEN AND SOCIALIST (Working Class in American History)


Publisher:University of Illinois Press



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About the book:

Eugene Victor Debs was one of the most prominent labor activists of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. He was, perhaps, the most admired openly radical public figure in America's history, running for president on the Socialist ticket in five separate elections, including a 1920 campaign conducted from prison. In the 1912 election, he earned 6 percent of the popular vote (and probably would have gotten more were it not for Theodore Roosevelt's Bull Moose campaign, which was also running on reform sentiments). Yet today he is largely forgotten, at best a footnote in history texts.

This biography by Professor Nick Salvatore does much to remedy the situation. It is a richly detailed recounting of Debs's life which demonstrates that Debs fit within a historical tradition of dissent in American politics. Although a professed socialist, he never gave up his commitment to democratic ideals; instead, he added to them an awareness of class and the effects of corporate capitalism that has continued relevance today.

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