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

A short, sharp, irreverent rejoinder to right-wing red-baiting.
A few months before the 2010 midterms, Newt Gingrich described the socialist infiltration of American government and media as “even more disturbing than the threats from foreign terrorists.” John Nichols offers an unapologetic retort to the return of red-baiting in American political life—arguing that socialism has a long, proud, American history. Tom Paine was enamored of early socialists, Horace Greeley employed Karl Marx as a correspondent, and Helen Keller was an avowed socialist. The “S” Word gives Americans back a crucial aspect of their past and makes a forthright case for socialist ideas today.


  • “[A] search for the legacy of our homegrown radicals.”
  • “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.”


  • First Annual Red Day Flash Sale!

    ******** THE SALE IS NOW OVER! SEE YOU NEXT YEAR! ********

    It's the first iteration of Verso's made up holiday - RED DAY! - where we're celebrating the efforts of our comrades around the world with a one day super sale of our 'red' literature.

    Check out our selection below - all 50% off with FREE shipping and bundled ebooks where available until midnight ET tonight!

    These books are sure to keep the revolutionary spirit alive in you!

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  • Radically Independent: A Fourth of July Reading List

    The workingmen of Europe feel sure that...the American War of Independence initiated a new era of ascendancy. 
— Karl Marx and the First International Workingmen’s Association to Abraham Lincoln, 1864

    Today marks two hundred and thirty eight years on from the Declaration of Independence, penned by Thomas Jefferson and others. It was Thomas Paine's pamphlet Common Sense, published in The Rights of Man and Common Sense, which inspired people in the Thirteen Colonies to declare and fight for independence from Great Britain in the summer of 1776. In clear, simple language it explained the advantages of and the need for immediate independence.  The passionate cry for independence continues to this day, with the recent call for a Scottish independence.

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  • The Progressive magazine's best of 2011 list features two Verso titles

    The Progressive's editor Matthew Rothschild included The S Word on his list of best books of 2011. 

    John Nichols chose News for All the People for his list of best books of 2011. 

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