Socialism Book Analysis

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 12th grade April 2001

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Kipner, Ira: The American Socialist Movement 1897 - 1912. New York: Columbia University Press, 1952. 496 pp After examination it becomes apparent that contrasting views exist of the Socialist movement in America. The Socialist movement in America has been considered to have begun when the new working class of the 1820s was discovering that the Declaration of Independence needed restating to meet the problems created by industrial capitalism (Kipner 1). However, contrasting views of this beginning of Socialism occur stating that the start was not until the 1840s when German Socialists began immigrating into the United States (Ader 86). Kipner, after extensive research looks deeper into the American Socialist movement. He enables us to see the gradual decline of the party due to inter party struggles. His hope for the writing of this book was that it would shed light onto slow corruption and decline of the Socialist Party.

The American Socialist Movement 1897 - 1912 is a very concise review of the beginning of the Socialist movement in the United States to the peak of its power and influence.

The book looks deeper into the roots of the party and further examines the action within the organization. For example in Ader's Socialism, the Socialist Labor Party was said to have been formed in 1877 and became the Socialist vehicle for action (Ader 86). While in Kipner's work, it is discovered that the Socialist Labor Party evolved in 1877 from the Working Men's Party, which was only half of the Socialist movement (Kipner 27) - the two halves of the movement being the Marxist half (half derived from Karl Marx's theories) and the Lassallean half (derived from Ferdinand Lassalle's theories) (Kipner 7). Justifications for the evolution of the party are given as the party began to endorse the slogan:...