Failure of a Dream?
Essays in the History of American Socialism

Laslettt, John H. M.; Lipset, Seymour Martin
Publisher:  Anchor Books, New York, USA
Year Published:  1974  
Pages:  754pp   ISBN:  0-385-08892-2
Resource Type:  Book
Cx Number:  CX7414

Examines the reasons for the relative weakness of American socialism.

Abstract:  This collection of essays aims to "examine the reasons for the relative weakness of American socialism" and "deals with the negative effects on socialism stemming from the nature of the American society itself." The book is divided into four parts and, at the end contains short notes on its contributors. Part one, "The Problems of Socialism in America," gives a general overview through extracts from interviews with old socialists and through a dialogue between the two editors, giving their respective views as students of the subject. Parts two and three are titled "Internal Factors: The Socialist Movement and American Socialism," and "External Factors: American Society and American Socialism," respectively. Part four, "The New Left and the Old," consists of two essays by prominent representatives of the New Left which discuss the differences between the Old and New Left and the prospects for the New Left.

[Abstract by Nabeeha Chaudhary]


Table of Contents

Part I: The Problem of Socialism in America
1. Socialists View the Problem
2. Social Scientists View the Problem

Part II: Internal Factors
3. The Problem of Ideological Rigidity
4. Radicalism and the Agrarian Tradition
5. Catholic Anti-Socialism
6. Socialism and American Trade Unionism
7. Socialism and Syndicalism
8. The Problems of the Socialist Party

Part III: External Factors
9. The Liberal Tradition
10. Americanism as Surrogate Socialism
11. The Relevance of Marxism
12. Socialism and Social Mobility
13. The Labour Movement and American Values
14. American Capitalism's Economic Rewards
15. The Role of Intellectuals
16. Pluralism and Political Parties

Part IV: The New Left and the Old
17. The Fortunes of the Old Left Compared to the Fortunes of the New
18. The Prospects of the New Left

Subject Headings

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