From the Marxist-tinged anarchism of the Haymarket martyrs to the Occupy Wall Street movement, these essays give a vibrant sense of the central role of the Left in social movements and struggles of the past and present, and highlights some of the amazing individuals, whose unstoppable energies generated remarkable transformations.
Left Americana considers both the limitations and successes of Christian socialists, Communists, Maoists, Trotskyists, and the "New Left" activists of the sixties and seventies in creating profound social and political change.
Paul Le Blanc is a professor of History at La Roche College and author of Choice Awardwinning book A Freedom Budget for All Americans.
1. Introduction: Engaging with History 2. Socialism in the United States: Absent and Latent 3. Haymarket Revolutionaries: Albert Parsons and His Comrades 4. Brookwood Labor College 5. U.S. Labor Vanguards in the 1930s 6. Remembering Ruth Querio 7. The Marxism of C.L.R. James 8. Martin Luther King, Jr.: Christian Core, Socialist Bedrock 9. Revolutionary Road, Partial Victory: The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom 10. Reluctant Memoir of the 1950s and 1960s 11. Triumphant Arc of U.S. Conservatism 12. New Left and Beyond 13. Making Sense of Trotskyism in the United States 14. Revolutionary Redemption 15. Occupy: Ancestors and Descendants
“Left Americana offers an open-minded overview of select experiences and thinkers in the context of “what is to be done” in America. Le Blanc does not seek or offer a formula; he simply asks that leftists think anew about what kind of revolutionary organization can overcome the global triumph of capitalism. How can an organization be thoroughly democratic yet disciplined enough to be successful without just replicating the authoritarian society it wishes to replace? What specific national factors must American radicals take into account? The only given in Le Blanc’s view is that a viable American left must exemplify the values and governance of the new society it advocates.”