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America's Revolutionary Heritage: Marxist Essays


A historical materialist analysis of key chapters in the history of the United States, from the genocide against Native Americans to the American Revolution, the Civil War, the rise of industrial capitalism, and the first wave of the fight for women's rights.

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A historical materialist analysis of key chapters in the history of the United States, from the genocide against Native Americans to the American Revolution, the Civil War, the rise of industrial capitalism, and the first wave of the fight for women's rights.

Index. Now with enlarged type.
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Editorial Reviews

One of the most active and visible communists of his era, Novack (1905-92) collected essays on various aspects of US history that had appeared over the course of 40 years in the International Socialist Review and its predecessor periodicals, most of them written by him. They cover Native Americans, the first American revolution, the slavocracy, the second American revolution encompassing the Civil War and Reconstruction, the triumph of monopolists, and the first wave of feminism. Among specific topics discussed from the Marxist viewpoint are the destruction of Indian democracy, class forces in the American revolutions, homage to antislavery fighter John Brown, two lessons of Reconstruction, big business and the two-party system, and how women won the vote. (Annotation ©2010 Book News Inc. Portland, OR)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780873484657
  • Publisher: Pathfinder Press GA
  • Publication date: 1/1/1976
  • Edition description: REVISED
  • Pages: 520
  • Product dimensions: 5.31 (w) x 8.28 (h) x 1.05 (d)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 3, 2002

    U.S. History for Workers

    Do you know why the capitalist rulers broke virtually every promise to Native Americans as they waged genocidal wars against them? Who made the American Revolution? How did this great liberation struggle give way to the solidification of slavery? How did the slavocracy rise to become a world power, only to meet defeat at the hands of the industrial capitalist class, which proceeded to enforce brutal apartheid-like conditions on freed Blacks? How did the U.S. monopolists rise to their position as the world's mightiest-and last-empire? This book gives the scientific answers workers need to know.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 18, 2002

    Our rich history of political struggle

    A lively and very informative collection of writings on U.S. history-- scientific, factual explanation of how and why things happened as they did. George Novack was a leading Marxist political activist and writer on philosophy, history and politics. These articles aim to help us understand events so as to learn from the past to organize to change society today. The book takes up the fight for independence and the 1776 revolution, slavery and the genocidal wars against Native Americans and their role in the development of U.S. capitalism, the rise of Big Business monopolies, the capitalist two-party system, and the emergence of the United States as an empire-building world power. I found particularly useful the explanation of political and social forms that are often presented almost as divine wonders (the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, the so-called ¿system of checks and balances,¿ etc.) and their actual roots in the particular development of a class divided society on the North American continent. And particularly inspiring the stories of the revolutionary fighters who struggled against the misery, oppression and barbarity of this rising capitalist society, including Tom Paine, Mercy Otis Warren, John Brown and Martin R. Delaney. I¿d recommend reading this along with the two-volume series Revolutionary Continuity by Farrell Dobbs that traces the complicated and persistent efforts to forge a revolutionary working class movement in the United States from 1848 through 1922.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 2, 2002

    A book for the unsung heroes, the rank-and-file makers of history

    I first read this book while taking U.S. history in high school. A friend recommended it as an antidote to the required text. I am not exaggerating when I say this book saved me from emerging from that course muddled in confusion about this country's past. Now that I have become a teacher I rely on it. Recently a colleague criticized the U.S. history textbook currently used in our school for giving too much prominence to Crispus Attucks. This African American sailor escaped from slavery and later became the first to fall under a hail of British bullets in the Boston Massacre of 1770. She complained the four paragraph biography and picture of him was 'multiculturalism run amuck.' Thanks to what I learned in America's Revolutionary Heritage I was able to answer her by explaining that, on the contrary, it was Attucks and thousands of ordinary people like him -- too often dismissed as 'the rabble' -- who were decisive in the making of the first American revolution. Novack shows how when the well-to-do colonialists, the merchants and plantation owners -- the ones most often featured in the writing of U.S. history -- waffled on independence from Britain, it was the servants, sailors, small farmers, carpenters, day laborers and mechanics who stood fast and pushed the movement forward. Malcolm X once said, 'Of all our studies, history is best qualified to reward our research.' An understanding of our history can be a great weapon in the fight for social justice. This book was written as such a tool for the 'rabble,' the modern-day Crispus Attuckses, to arm them with an awareness of their power as the unsung heroes, the true shapers of history.

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