Socialism on Trial

Socialism on Trial

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Socialism on Trial is the official record of the testimony by James P. Cannon, National Secretary of the Socialist Workers Party, at one of the most important political trials in U.S. history. This testimony, a clear and simple expanation of the principles and aims of revolutionary socialism, has become a classic of communist literature.

On the eve of World War II, eighteen leaders of the SWP and the Minneapolis Teamsters union were tried and found guilty of "conspiring to advocate the overthrow of the US government." These were the first convictions under the notorious Smith "Gag" Act. The government's aim was to prevent the building of opposition to Washington's entry into the interimperialist carnage and block the charting of a class-struggle course for the labor movement.

Despite the wartime atmosphere, the defense effort gained nationwide publicity and support: tens of thousands backed the defendant's civil liberties; unions representing over two million workers endorsed the defense committee.

This edition of Socialism on Trial also contains Cannon's reply to a criticism by a Spanish ultraleftist living in exile in Mexico on the defence policy used by the defendants. Cannon discusses how revolutionary-minded workers can put forward an effective defense of their democratic rights, inside the courtroom and out.

- Publisher's description

Additional product information

Author Cannon, James P.
Binding Paperback
No. of Pages 235
Publisher Pathfinder
Date of Publication 2010
ISBN 9780873483179


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