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Fabian Freeway: High Road to Socialism in the U.S.A. 1884-1966 Hardcover – January 1, 1966

3.7 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Hardcover, January 1, 1966

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 566 pages
  • Publisher: Heritage Foundation (January 1, 1966)
  • ASIN: B00005VUVG
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 6 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,643,373 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover
The Fabain Society was formed in Britain in the 1880s to advance the socialist cause through gradualist rather than revolutionary means. "Fabian Freeway" is a critical study of the broader gradualist-socialist movement, of which the Fabian Society is emblematic, in late-nineteenth and twentieth-century Britain and America.
Marc Stears in his recent book, "Progressives, Pluralists, and the Problems of the State," mentions that "At least into the 1970s...[t]he only major work to trace international ideological exchange between British and American reformers in this period was Rose Martin's..."Fabian Freeway" (1967)..."
However, after acknowledging Martin's pioneering role, he goes on to denounce her book as "truly bizarre...a McCarthyite study motivated by the desire to illustrate that the American left was controlled by British socialists who were themselves in hock to Moscow."
Stears' denunciation is factually untrue.
I first read this book as a high-school student, shortly after it was published, over thirty years ago. It was obvious to me then that "Fabian Freeway" is indeed highly opinionated: the author makes no attempt to hide the fact that her own ideological views differ from those of the people she is studying. For obvious reasons, I wondered if her ideological views had led to biases and misrepresentations in the book.
During subsequent decades, as I have run across information from other sources with other ideological axes to grind, I have come to respect Martin's accuracy and honesty. I have yet to find any serious example of dishonesty or misrepresentation on her part (which is not to say that I share all of her views or agree with all of her interpretations).
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Format: Hardcover
Before I believe a source, I check into their history. So it is with the Fabian Society.

Organized in 1884, founding members included the daughter of Karl Marx - the father of communism and its sibling offshoots. Obscure history (by that I mean facts you have to dig and hunt for) has been a hobby of mine for about 20 years. I find the truth to be stranger than fiction, and the long trail of the Fabian Society (and its successful policy of "penetrate and permeate") is truly incredible. Like a seed, an idea well planted will grow on its own after a bit of nurturing. So it is with Fabian Socialism. They have shaped so much of the way the world is, and few realize it.

One recent fact: The Fabian Society acquired - and sealed - the archives of Eric Blair (better known as "1984" author George Orwell) when his wife died some years ago. Orwell became disenchanted with the Fabian Society and it is now thought his book was really aimed at the kind of world he believed the Fabian Society would achieve.

As one source put it "A careful review of the literary evidence reveals that he was aiming at the period immediately following the year 2000 but wanted to memorialize the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Fabian Society." -AND- "I once inquired through a literary agent who was a friend of Sonia Orwell, the writer's second wife, whether 1984 might be a satirical polemic directed at the Fabians. She giggled nervously and remarked that perhaps that was right. And the Fabian Society once more has catapulted itself into the picture because, upon the death of Sonia Orwell, rights to George's estate fell under control of -- the Fabian Society.
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Format: Hardcover
The review written by rothbardianphysicist says it all much more elequently than I could, so I will keep it short and sweet. I will just say the Fabian Society is the perfect example of how ideas, once launch, often take on a life of their own. Their influnece is pervasive, and most people have never even heard of them. Everyone should read this book and do their own study into the people and institutions mentioned in it.
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