A short, sharp, irreverent rejoinder to right-wing red-baiting
During the Cold War it became a dirty word in the United States, but “socialism” runs like a red thread through the nation’s history, an integral part of its political consciousness since the founding of the republic. In this unapologetic corrective to today’s collective amnesia, John Nichols calls for the proud return of socialism in American life. He recalls the reforms lauded by Founding Father Tom Paine; the presence of Karl Marx’s journalism in American letters; the left leanings of founders of the Republican Party; the socialist politics of Helen Keller; the progressive legacy of figures like Chaplin and Einstein. Now in an updated edition, The “S” Word makes a case for socialist ideas as an indispensable part of American heritage. A new final chapter considers the recent signs of a leftward sea change in American politics in the face of increasing and historic levels of inequality.
Today, corporations—like other rich “individuals”—pay fewer taxes than they did in the 1950s, while our infrastructure crumbles and the seas rise. The “S” Word addresses a nation that can no longer afford to put capital before people.
About The S Word
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.