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The “S” Word: A Short History of an American Tradition … Socialism

A short, sharp, irreverent rejoinder to right-wing red-baiting.
During the Cold War it became a dirty word in the United States, but “socialism” runs like a red thread through the nation’s history, an integral part of its political consciousness since the founding of the republic. In this unapologetic corrective to today’s collective amnesia, John Nichols calls for the proud return of socialism in American life. He recalls the reforms lauded by Founding Father Tom Paine; the presence of Karl Marx’s journalism in American letters; the left leanings of founders of the Republican Party; the socialist politics of Helen Keller; the progressive legacy of figures like Chaplin and Einstein. Now in an updated edition, The “S” Word makes a case for socialist ideas as an indispensable part of American heritage. A new final chapter considers the recent signs of a leftward sea change in American politics in the face of increasing and historic levels of inequality.

Today, corporations—like other rich “individuals”—pay fewer taxes than they did in the 1950s, while our infrastructure crumbles and the seas rise. The “S” Word addresses a nation that can no longer afford to put capital before people.

Reviews

  • “A chilling reminder of how much rich American history has been erased by shallow messaging. A crucial book.”
  • “Of all the giant slayers now afoot in the great American desert, John Nichols’s sword is the sharpest, his footwork the most graceful, his brain the most cunning.”
  • “The Tom Paine … of our time.”
  • “[A] search for the legacy of our homegrown radicals.”

Blog

  • 50% off for May Day!


    May 1st marks International Workers' Day, a festival of working-class self-organization stretching back over 130 years. It was originally inaugurated to commemorate the Haymarket Massacre of 1886 in Chicago, where a bomb thrown during a worker's strike kicked off a period of anti-labor hysteria.

    May Day 2015 in London saw a rally of trade unions, migrant workers & London’s many communities and other organisations finishing in Trafalgar Square. 2016 demos include speakers such as Yannis Gourtsoyhannia (from the Junior Doctor’s dispute), Christine Blower (the General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, to talk about the government’s attacks on education), Frances O'Grady (TUC General Secretary), Jeremy Corbyn, and John McDonnell. See the full details here!

    In New York there's a rally and march in Union Square on Sunday starting at noon, in Los Angeles there's a May Day March and Bernie Sanders rally on Saturday starting at 3pm, and in Oakland there's a rally at the Fruitvale Bart starting at noon. See an incomplete list of May Day activities here.

    This May Day we bring you the following reading list, AND we're doing a FLASH SALE with 50% off all of them! Don't forget - we have free worldwide shipping and free bundled ebooks where available!

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  • US politics books are 50% off in celebration of Bernie's epic win in New Hampshire!


    Bernie Sanders led Hillary Clinton by a 22-point lead in the New Hampshire primaries, the second biggest democratic New Hampshire primary win in history!

    And a recent Bloomberg Politics/Des Moines Register poll showed that 43 percent of Iowa Democratic caucus goers described themselves as “socialist” while only 38 percent described themselves as “capitalist.”

    Bernie Sanders has tapped in to a growing popular movement that demands economic justice for all. Embrace the resurgence of socialist ideas by picking up some new and recently published books on socialist history and American politics.

    All of the books on our US Politics Reading List
    are 50% off until February 19th!

    (plus free shipping and bundled ebooks where available!)

    Check out the books available here >>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Listen to Bernie's autobiography Outsider in the White House!
    Get the audiobook from Audible for only $6.95. Buy it here.

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  • Bernie Sanders “virtually ties” in Iowa caucus and calls for a political revolution

    The Iowa caucus results last night were a major victory for Bernie Sanders, who virtually tied Hillary Clinton and won nearly as many delegates in the hotly contested start of the primaries.

    Bernie's autobiography
    Outsider in the White House (now 50% off on our site) charts his political career from his time as the mayor of Burlington to congressman to US senator, and includes a substantial afterword from The Nation's John Nichols.

    Below is the preface to the new edition, written by Bernie Sanders in September 2015, which explains his decision to run for president and calls on people to come together and demand that the government work for all Americans and not the corporate elite.




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