Socialism on Trial

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Overview

The basic ideas of socialism, explained in testimony during the 1941 trial of leaders of the Minneapolis Teamsters union and the Socialist Workers Party framed up and imprisoned under the notorious Smith "Gag" Act during World War II.


Introduction by George Novack, photos, index. Appendix: Defense policy in the Minneapolis trial. Now with enlarged type.
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More About This Book

Overview

The basic ideas of socialism, explained in testimony during the 1941 trial of leaders of the Minneapolis Teamsters union and the Socialist Workers Party framed up and imprisoned under the notorious Smith "Gag" Act during World War II.


Introduction by George Novack, photos, index. Appendix: Defense policy in the Minneapolis trial. Now with enlarged type.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780873483179
  • Publisher: Pathfinder Press GA
  • Publication date: 1/1/1973
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 235
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 0.60 (d)

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 1, 2002

    One of the best introductions to socialism you can find

    This is a wonderful and unique book. When the U.S. government was leading the country into the slaughter of World War II, the Roosevelt administration sought to crackdown on dissent and militancy among the working class. One step they took was to adopt the Smith Act, a witch-hunting thought control act, and then to indict leaders of the labor movement and the Socialist Workers Party on charges of subversion and conspiracy. The socialists rose to the challenge however, turned the trial into a platform to explain their anti-capitalist views to a wide audience. Their years-long defense campaign also played an important role in sustaining the revolutionary movement throughout the war years. Socialism in Trial is the actual court transcript of the testimony of James P. Cannon, then national secretary of the Socialist Workers Party. Under the hostile questioning of the prosecutor, he calmly and concisely lays out what is wrong with capitalism, and why socialism and communism are the necessary alternative for working people. Cannon takes up imperialism, war, colonialism, and fascism; and discusses trade union struggles, how a revolutionary party is organized, defends the Russian Revolution and takes on the reactionary Stalinists then in power in Moscow. The book also includes an exchange between Cannon and fellow-revolutionary Grandizo Munis who attacked the socialists¿ approach to defending themselves in a capitalist court. Cannon¿s reply should be studied by activists everywhere, all of whom are likely to face similar challenges and need to understand the rich lessons of previous defense campaigns. Read it and share it with others!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 16, 2002

    A lot more fun than watching 'Law and Order'

    A real-life trial, with an exasperated and somewhat ineffectual prosecutor, an interesting defendant - and world revolution as the topic. Ever wonder whether communists aim to kill individual capitalists? How can you be a socialist if the majority of working people today don't agree they need socialism? Why take away the property of the wealthy that they have obtained by legal means? James P. Cannon answered each one of these questions, and many more, in his 1941 trial on charges of sedition. A wonderful, easy-to-read guide for anyone trying to understand Marxism. Excellent for high school students

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 17, 2002

    Unvarnished truth about capitalism & socialism

    One of the chief founders and continuators of communism in the U.S., Cannon helped lead working class opposition against two world wars. The government put Cannon on trial. This book is the transcript of his courtroom testimony. He answers questions about the fundamentals of socialism¿many of posed by a very hostile government prosecutor. Despite the tense environment, Cannon speaks as though he were addressing interested co-workers during lunch-break in a factory. Down-to-earth, logical, witty, and with a deep and passionate grounding in Marxism. Cannon¿s assumption is that socialism, clearly explained, will make sense to workers. This approach--rather than talking-down or sugar-coating a la the Greens and other reformists¿is the correct approach. As workers see their hopes of health, security, dignity and justice going down the tubes as the capitalist crisis unfolds, they want to hear the unvarnished truth about capitalism and socialism. This book gives it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 19, 2001

    the answers

    Fighting for what's right means that when the government threw the leaders of the Socialist Workers Party and fighting labor leaders into jail in 1941 for defying Roosevelt's war drive and Tobin, the bureaucrat that ran the Teamsters union then, Cannon and the other revolutionist's respond by explaining why they were socialists, how the fight for a workers and farmers government in this country will proceed. This book has all the answers to any question about the fight for socialism, not only in the USA but anywhere else. It also contains a lot of history, a lot of humor, and a lot of Cannon's generous wisdom and wit.

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