Rocky Mountain radical: Myron W. Reed, Christian Socialist
This biography explores the life of the American West's leading Christian Socialist in the late nineteenth century. Social, cultural, religious, political, and labor history are blended to capture Reed's controversial career as a preacher and reformer. Headquartered in Denver, Colorado, Reed sought to create what he called a "new community", God's kingdom on earth. His sermons and lectures envisioned the federal management of critical economic resources for the common good to guarantee everyone a "comfortable life". The popular preacher tirelessly criticized exploitative capitalism and corrupt machine politics and advocated social justice, labor reform, Native American rights, women's suffrage, scientific charity, and other causes. In 1894, he championed labor at the violent Cripple Creek strike and called Jesus Christ an "anarchist", controversies that led to his resignation from the affluent First Congregational Church. At his next pulpit, the nonsectarian Broadway Temple, he preached his Christian Socialism even harder to the poor and churchless. After a lengthy illness, the fiery Reed died in 1899.
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