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.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
This is biography at its best."
--Eric Foner for the History Book Club
"In this stunning book, Salvatore sets Debs firmly within the central traditions of United States political and social history and depicts, as never before, the triumph and tragedy that characterized the socialist leader's personal and public life."
--American Historical Review
"Nick Salvatore's biography is very solid work. . . . The Debs who emerges is a flawed human being--very flawed--yet an extraordinary person: a man deficient in self-knowledge, as public figures usually are, but also a great tribune."
--New York Review of Books