Synopses & Reviews
Campaigning against Barack Obama in 2008, Sarah Palin warned, “Now is no time to experiment with socialism,” while Missouri congressmember Todd Akin told a McCain rally, “This campaign is about one thing. It’s a referendum on socialism.” One of the most popular ongoing features on Glenn Beck’s daily radio program is called “America’s March to Socialism.” John Nichols, a leading political reporter in the US, here offers his unapologetic retort to the return of red-baiting in American political life—arguing that socialism has a long, proud American history. Tom Paine was enamored of early socialists, Horace Greeley employed Karl Marx as a correspondent, and Helen Keller was an avowed socialist. Moreover, we owe many basic American institutions, like the Social Security system, to the ideas and efforts of American socialists.
Recent polls show that Americans, especially young Americans, are more open to socialism and alternatives to capitalism than in decades. Indeed, as The New Yorkerput it, “There hasn’t been so much talk of socialism in an American election since 1920, when Eugene Victor Debs, candidate of the Socialist Party, made his fifth run for president from a cell in the Atlanta Federal Penitentiary.” This short, irreverent book gives Americans back a crucial part of their history and makes a forthright case for socialist ideas today.
"Of all the giant slayers now afoot in the great American desert, John Nichols's sword is the sharpest, his footwork the most graceful, his brain the most cunning." Gore Vidal, author of < i=""> The Last Empire <>
"The Tom Paine ... of our time." Bill Moyers
"A chilling reminder of how much rich American history has been erased by shallow messaging. A crucial book." Naomi Klein, author of < i=""> The Shock Doctrine <>
"What? Not a nasty foreign import? As American as Walt Whitman and Emma Lazarus? Much as John Nichols's timely book may befuddle Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck, Americans embarrassed by the slurs surrounding all things socialist will find much to think about in The "S" Word." Laura Flanders, author of < em=""> At the Tea Party < m="">
A short, sharp, irreverent rejoinder to right-wing red-baiting.
A few months before the 2010 midterms, Newt Gingrich described the socialist infiltration of American government and media as "even more disturbing than the threats from foreign terrorists." John Nichols offers an unapologetic retort to the return of red-baiting in American political life--arguing that socialism has a long, proud, American history. Tom Paine was enamored of early socialists, Horace Greeley employed Karl Marx as a correspondent, and Helen Keller was an avowed socialist. The "S" Word gives Americans back a crucial aspect of their past and makes a forthright case for socialist ideas today.
About the Author
John Nichols is a columnist for the The Wisconsin State Journal and Madison.Com, Washington correspondent for The Nation magazine, a contributing writer for the Progressive and In These Times, and the associate editor of Madison, Wisconsin's Capital Times. He's the author of several books, including The Death and Life of American Journalism, The Genius of Impeachment and The "S" Word.