Your audiobook is waiting…

Eugene V. Debs: The Life and Legacy of America’s Most Famous Socialist Political Leader

Narrated by: Dan Gallagher
Length: 1 hr and 17 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (17 ratings)

$14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

History is full of tales of men who were in the right place at the right time and thereby rose to greatness, but rarely is the story told of a man who was in the right place at the wrong time. The life of Eugene V. Debs is such a tale. 

Debs was born in Middle America just before the outbreak of the Civil War, and had he been born a century later or in a large city on one of the coasts, his story might have been much different. As he grew, he had the restlessness that often indicates greatness, but he lacked the crisis that might have allowed him to hone and use his leadership skills. He saw the needs of those less fortunate around him, and at first, like so many others, he thought he could work within the system to correct them. However, when he ultimately concluded he could best serve others through firebrand speeches and increasingly controversial actions, he was unable to convince enough people to follow him to make the massive changes he desired. Instead, he found himself thwarted time and again by those with more power and more established views.

Of course, this is not to discount the profound impact Debs had on the country; after all, he was one of the most famous men in America during the late 19th and early 20th century. Indeed, he was able to give to the nation a new understanding of the values and power of industrial workers, helping organize them into some of the first industrial unions in the country. He also taught the men themselves to think as a unit and to act with a united front that allowed them to make their voices heard and to earn for themselves and their families a living wage and benefits commiserate with their work’s value. 

In the course of his work, Debs also changed the political scene in America. He established the Socialist Party, and when he ran for president in 1912, he attracted a noticeable percentage of the popular vote. No Socialist politician has been as successful on the national level before or since. However, even as he garnered popularity, the times in which he lived hampered his work, for the outbreak of World War I, along with the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia, brought socialism under suspicion. Most controversially, Debs was arrested and imprisoned during World War I on charges of sedition, and while that episode has justly marred President Woodrow Wilson’s legacy, prison damaged Debs’ health even as his spirit strove on for one last victory. In many ways, his end seems tragic, but for those who benefited through the years from his practical work for organized labor and his theoretical work for socialism, his death marked neither a tragedy nor an end, just a new type of beginning.

Eugene V. Debs: The Life and Legacy of America’s Most Famous Socialist Political Leader chronicles the life and work that made him one of America’s most influential men.

©2018 Charles River Editors (P)2018 Charles River Editors

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    10
  • 4 Stars
    5
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    0

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    11
  • 4 Stars
    3
  • 3 Stars
    2
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    13
  • 4 Stars
    2
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    0
Sort by:
  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Not Happy

I already know about Debs in general sense. This book is disappointing. The form of this is odd.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful