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eBook James P. Cannon and the Origins of the American Revolutionary Left, 1890-1928 (Working Class in American History) ePub

by Bryan D. Palmer

eBook James P. Cannon and the Origins of the American Revolutionary Left, 1890-1928 (Working Class in American History) ePub
Author: Bryan D. Palmer
Language: English
ISBN: 0252031091
ISBN13: 978-0252031090
Publisher: University of Illinois Press; 1 edition (March 26, 2007)
Pages: 576
Category: Politics & Government
Subcategory: Social Sciences
Rating: 4.8
Votes: 407
Formats: rtf txt lit lrf
ePub file: 1226 kb
Fb2 file: 1730 kb

Bryan D. Palmer's award-winning study of James P. Cannon's early years (1890-1928) details how the life of a Wobbly hobo agitator gave way to leadership in the emerging communist underground of the 1919 era.

Bryan D. This historical drama unfolds alongside the life experiences of a native son of United States radicalism. Cannon's early years (1890-1928) details how the life of a. . Cannon's early years (1890-1928) details how the life of a Wobbly hobo agitator gave way to leadership in the emerging communist underground of the 1919 er. Our understanding of the indigenous currents of the American revolutionary left is widened, just as appreciation of the complex nature of its interaction with international forces is deepened.

The Working Class in American History. Palmer is currently preparing the second volume of his Cannon biography, chronicling the subject's Trotskyist years. Biography & Personal Papers Radical Studies Labor Studies History, A. 20th C. Marxism See all Subjects. Bryan D. This historical drama unfolds alongside the life experiences of a native son of United States radicalism, the narrative moving from Rosedale, Kansas to Chicago, New York, and Moscow.

Palmer unquestionably shows the development of an American working-class revolutionary Left .

Palmer unquestionably shows the development of an American working-class revolutionary Left through Cannon's life. Palmer begins his study with Cannon's childhood in Rosedale, Kansas, and the influence of his English-born of Irish descent, working-class, Socialist parents. Cannon wrote, "'When I joined the IWW, my life was decided'" (p. 52). Cannon's early years (1890-1928) details how the life of a Wobbly hobo agitator gave way to leadership. eISBN: 978-0-252-09208-4.

Working Class in American History (Paperback). Written with panache, Palmer's richly detailed book situates American communism's formative decade of the 1920s in the dynamics of a specific political and economic context

Working Class in American History (Paperback). By (author) Bryan D. Palmer. Free delivery worldwide. Written with panache, Palmer's richly detailed book situates American communism's formative decade of the 1920s in the dynamics of a specific political and economic context. Format Paperback 576 pages. Working Class in American History.

Working Class in American History. 576. Author Biography.

Palmer, Bryan D. Format: Book. Published: Urbana : University of Illinois Press, c2007. Series: The working class in American history. Subjects: Cannon, James Patrick, 1890-1974. Socialists United States Biography. Communists United States Biography. Socialism United States History. Communism United States History.

Bryan D. Palmer's award-winning study of James P. Cannon's early years (1890-1928) details how the life of a Wobbly hobo agitator gave way to leadership in the emerging communist underground of the 1919 era. This historical drama unfolds alongside the life experiences of a native son of United States radicalism, the narrative moving from Rosedale, Kansas to Chicago, New York, and Moscow. Written with panache, Palmer's richly detailed book situates American communism's formative decade of the 1920s in the dynamics of a specific political and economic context. Our understanding of the indigenous currents of the American revolutionary left is widened, just as appreciation of the complex nature of its interaction with international forces is deepened.

Zonama
This biography of Cannon is an absolute must read for anyone interested in the history of US working class radicalism.A cracking read.I am only slightly disappointed that I can't start reading the second volume immediately.
Swiang
I would second the recommendation of the reviewer Mr. Lichtman here to read the writings of James P. Cannon, and the links he has provided are most useful. That said, his criticisms of Palmer's magisterial biography (the first of three volumes!) are nit-picky and seem motivated by factional malice. To condemn Dr. Palmer for being a "middle class academic" seems odd, since academics are almost by definition middle class. If Palmer is not allowed to have an opinion or write about the subject, then who is? Then Mr. Lichtman takes issue with the title, moreover stating that Cannon was "not part of the origins of American communism." Maybe he should take that up with Cannon, who after all wrote a book entitled "The First Ten Years of American Communism" about the years 1918-28, precisely one of the periods covered in Palmer's book. Finally, Lichtman's description of a certain group "whose sole 'activity' is inventing new 'principles' to justify their non-participation in any aspect of the class struggle" would apply perfectly to the Socialist Workers Party, a group James P. Cannon helped found in 1938 but which has sadly degenerated in recent years to a tiny sect of less than 100 members. But I digress.

If you're familiar with the writings and work of Cannon, "James P. Cannon and the Origins of the American Revolutionary Left" will provide new inisights. The accounts of his early life in Kansas, his stint as an organiser for the IWW and his role in the factional battles of the Communist Party during the 1920s are particularly revelatory. If you don't know anything about him, this book would be an excellent place to start. I eagerly await the publication of the next two volumes of Bryan D. Palmer's biography of James P. Cannon, an American revolutionary who has been unfairly overlooked.
Coidor
Even if you ignore Palmer's gushing enthusiasm in his acknowledgements for the Spartacist League, who he is certain are the real heirs of Cannon--a group whose sole "activity" is inventing new "principles" to justify their non-participation in any aspect of the class struggle; even if you ignore his attempt to associate Cannon with the Maoist nonsense about "shedding white skin privilege" (the groups that talk about this rarely shed the one kind of privilege that they can shed--middle class privilege and the prejudices that come with it--by joining the working class); and if you’re able to ignore or tolerate the tortured academic gibberish of “gender politics,” which fortunately has nothing in common with the way communists discuss the liberation of women… you’ll find only a little here that’s factual that you won’t find from reading Cannon himself, and reading James P. Cannon As We Knew Him, especially the pieces by Joseph Hansen, Reba Hansen, and George Novack.

You do get some material about Cannon’s youth and his activity in the Industrial Workers of the World that were not previously available—about 50 pages worth. But then Cannon’s life is so much better understood by reading his own, humorous, readable, enjoyable works. The first three chapters of The History of American Trotskyism, 1928-38: Report of a Participant is the first place where Cannon sums up the early Communist Party. Then there’s First Ten Years of American Communism: Report of a Participant, based on Cannon’s letters to Theodore Draper and some articles he wrote for the Socialist Workers Party’s theoretical magazines.

The book Notebook of an Agitator: From the Wobblies to the Fight against the Korean War and McCarthyism (paperback) includes some of Cannon’s most important writings in his capacity as National Secretary of the International Labor Defense. James P. Cannon and the Early Years of American Communism: Selected Writings and Speeches 1920-1928 includes some of his most important writings as a leader of the Communist Party, and The Left Opposition in U.S.: Writings and Speeches, 1928-31 takes you into the first period after the expulsion from the Communist Party. The other books of Cannon’s writings are just as important, but cover later than 1928….

Then there's the question of the meaning of the title. Cannon joined the revolutionary movement when he joined the IWW, but he is best known as a founding leader of first the Communist Party, and then the Trotskyist movement as it was then known, which became the Socialist Workers Party. What is the "American Revolutionary Left"? There are lots of groups claiming to be revolutionary, but whether they're Stalinist-type groups or groupings that call themselves "Trotskyist," they have little or nothing to do with Cannon, who was a communist.

And he was not part of the origins of American communism--that started with the first followers of Marx who came to this country in the aftermath of the failed Revolution of 1848 in Germany. For this I recommend Revolutionary Continuity: the Early Years, 1848-1917, and then I suggest following it up with Revolutionary Continuity: Birth of the Communist Movement 1918-1922.

In the unlikely event that further volumes come out, I will read them, but I won't expect much.
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