Eugene Debs and American Socialism

Eugene Debs and American Socialism

As a five-time presidential candidate, and founding member of both the Socialist Party and Industrial Workers of World, Eugene Debs’s legacy has loomed large over the American socialist movement for over a decade. Jailed for his role in the 1894 Pullman Strike and again for his opposition to US entry into World War I, Debs’s fight for working-class power was not without risk. In a conversation with Jacobin’s Shawn Gude, this Socialist Night School session explored the life of Debs, his vision of socialism, how it was tied to his commitments to democracy and internationalism, and why it still matters today. Shawn Gude is a senior editor at Jacobin. He is currently writing a book on Eugene Debs, and he also runs the Debs Dispatch, a Substack about all things Eugene Debs.

Recommended readings:

The Canton Speech by Eugene Debs

How I Became a Socialist by Eugene Debs

Walls & Bars by Eugene Debs

Free Speech Is a Left-Wing Value by Chip Gibbons 

Repressing Radicalism by Chip Gibbons 

Eugene Debs Believed in Socialism Because He Believed in Democracy by Shawn Gude

Something to Offer by William P. Jones