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It Didn't Happen Here: Why Socialism Failed in the United States

by Lipset, Seymour Martin

  • ISBN: 9780393040982
  • ISBN10: 0393040984

It Didn't Happen Here: Why Socialism Failed in the United States

by Lipset, Seymour Martin

  • List Price: $26.95
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
  • Publish date: 01/01/2003
  • ISBN: 9780393040982
  • ISBN10: 0393040984
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Description: Parties calling themselves Socialist, Social-Democratic, Labor, or Communist have been major forces in every democratic country in the world, yet they have played a surprisingly insignificant role in American politics. Why the United States, the most developed capitalist industrial society and hence, ostensibly, fertile ground for socialism, should constitute an exception has been a critical question of American history and political development.

In this probing work the authors draw on rich contrasts with other English-speaking countries and extensive comparisons within the United States at the state and city levels, eschewing conventional explanations of socialism's demise to present a fuller understanding of how multiple factors -- political structure, American values, and the split between the Socialist party and mainstream unions -- combined to seal socialism's fate. Further chapters examine the distinctive character of American trade unions, immigration and the fragmentation of the American working class, socialist strategies, and repression, concluding with a penetrating analysis of American political exceptionalism up to the present day.

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