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The American LeftIts Impact on Politics and Society since 1900$
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Rhodri Jeffreys-Jones

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780748668878

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748668878.001.0001

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The Republican Re-Invention of Socialism

The Republican Re-Invention of Socialism

(p.98) Chapter 7 The Republican Re-Invention of Socialism
The American Left

Rhodri Jeffreys-Jones

Edinburgh University Press

The socialist phase in the history of the American left was mainly over by the 1940s, but in the latter part of that decade Republican politicians seeking political advantage alleged that the Democratic Party was still nurturing “creeping socialism”. The chapter details the Great Scare and persecution of genuine left-wing figures like the actor Charlie Chaplin. It shows how Democratic politicians were smeared for allegedly voting the same way as Vito Marcantonio. The presidential candidate Senator Robert Taft rode the wave of anti-socialist rhetoric. Senator Robert Wagner’s attempt to round out the welfare state by introducing universal medical insurance foundered in this hostile climate, as did left-led attempts to end Jim Crow.

Keywords:   creeping socialism, Great Scare, Charlie Chaplin, Robert Taft, medical insurance, Jim Crow

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