Writings and Speeches of Eugene V. Debs
Mr. Schlesinger has performed a valuable service by making available, in the form of well-selected specimens of Eugene V. Debs’ own writing and speeches, the substance on which the legend of the Great Socialist and Great Prisoner is based.
The substance is better than the legend—truer, more human, clearer, and above all more useable as a touchstone for the appraisal of contemporary political tendencies and personalities. From youth to old age, the logic of Debs’ fortunately simple character seems to have unwound without snarls, or any kind of moral failure or confusion, in a kind of spiritual Horatio Alger sequence. Pluck and luck made a great American out of Gene Debs, and an amazingly successful one, before he was dead. This book, with its chronologically arranged self-documentation of the life, enables us to see the growth of that greatness, and to learn from it.
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