It Didn't Happen Here: Why Socialism Failed in the United States

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W. W. Norton & Company, 2000 - History - 379 pages
4 Reviews
Why socialism has failed to play a significant role in the United States--the most developed capitalist industrial society and hence, ostensibly, fertile ground for socialism--has been a critical question of American history and political development. Seymour Martin Lipset and Gary Marks "survey with subtlety and shrewd judgment the various explanations" (Wall Street Journal) for this phenomenon of American political exceptionalism. "Clearly written, intelligent, filled with new information" (Times Literary Supplement), this "splendidly convincing" (Michael Kazin, Georgetown University) work eschews conventional arguments about socialism's demise to present a fuller understanding of how multiple factors--political structure, American values, immigration, and the split between the Socialist party and mainstream unions--combined to seal socialism's fate. "In peak form, two master political sociologists offer a must-read synthesis."--Theda Skocpol, Harvard University
  

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - agnesmack - LibraryThing

Wow! This book was remarkable in that it was probably the dullest book I've ever read. I am a Socialist and I was very interested in the information these authors had to share, but it was so god damn ... Read full review

Review: It Didn't Happen Here: Why Socialism Failed in the United States

User Review  - Helen Grant - Goodreads

Exhaustive and overly academic review of factors that impeded socialism in the United States. Interestingly, the authors offered little analysis of socialism itself. Read full review

Contents

AN EXCEPTIONAL NATION
15
THE AMERICAN PARTY SYSTEM
43
THE SPLIT BETWEEN UNIONS AND THE SOCIALIST PARTY
85
IMMIGRANTS AND SOCIALISM
125
SECTARIANS VS REFORMISTS WERE SOCIALISTS UNDERMINED BY THEIR OWN STRATEGY?
167
SOCIALIST SECTARIANISM AND COMMUNIST OPPORTUNISM IN THE THIRTIES
203
POLITICAL REPRESSION AND SOCIALISM
237
THE END OF POLITICAL EXCEPTIONALISM ?
261
NOTES
295
INDEX
361
Copyright

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About the author (2000)

American political theorist and sociologist, Seymour Lipset, was born in New York City and educated at City College of New York and Columbia University. Lipset has taught at a number of universities, including the University of Toronto, Columbia University, the University of California at Berkeley, Harvard University, and Stanford University. A senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, he is also a member of the International Society of Political Psychology, the American Political Science Association, and the American Academy of Science. Lipset maintains that contemporary democracy is flawed; nevertheless, he believes that it is still "the good society itself in operation." Applying both political science and sociological approaches to political systems, he supports a trend to replace political ideology with sociological analysis. Among Lipset's many works are "Political Man: The Social Bases of Politics" (1960), "Class, Status, and Power" (1953), and "Revolution and Counterrevolution" (1968). He has also contributed articles to a number of magazines, including The New Republic, Encounter, and Commentary. Lipset has received a number of awards for his work, including the MacIver Award in 1962, the Gunnar Myrdal Prize in 1970, and the Townsend Harris Medal in 1971.

Gary Marks is Professor of Political Science at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and founding Director of the UNC Center for European Studies. Marks' recent books include Multi-Level Governance and European Integration (with Liesbet Hooghe, 2001), and It Didn't Happen Here: Why Socialism Failed in the United States (with Seymour Martin Lipset, 2000).

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