Norman Thomas: The Great Dissenter

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9780875866215: Norman Thomas: The Great Dissenter
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A conscientious objector in two world wars and a relentless advocate for world peace as well as social justice, Norman Thomas was tear-gassed, arrested, and jailed as he stood up for the rights of minorities, immigrants, and the working poor. In addition to being a civil rights activist, Thomas headed the Socialist Party for 18 years, ran for president six times, was a pacifist, and created several institutions to advance world peace and universal disarmament. He strongly and vocally opposed the Vietnam War. This biography highlights the values that lay behind his actions, values which included aspects of socialism but which also conflicted with the views of many Leftists.

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About the Author:

An employment and discrimination attorney with over thirty-five years' experience, Raymond F. Gregory is author of Unwelcome and Unlawful: Sexual Harassment in the American Workplace (ILR Press, 2004), Women and Workplace Discrimination: Overcoming Barriers to Gender Equality (Rutgers University Press, 2003) and Age Discrimination in the American Workplace: Old at a Young Age (Rutgers University Press, 2001).

Review:

Norman Thomas: The Great Dissenter is a political biography of Norman Thomas (1884-1968), who ran as the Socialist Party candidate for President six times and devoted fifty years of his life to crusading for justice and equality for all Americans. Thomas was convinced that socialism was America's only hope for economic and political justice, but he was equally convinced that violent class warfare was immoral and intolerable - he repeatedly spoke out against the advocacy of violence with the Communist Party, believing that socialism should overtake capitalism through none other than legitimate democratic means. He tirelessly advocated economic programs that would eventually become an integral part of American life: social security, unemployment insurance, minimum wage laws, a ban on child labor, workers' compensation, and anti-discrimination laws. During the course of peacefully championing his ideals, he would be subjected to physical attack, tear-gassed, arrested, and jailed. Written by employment and discrimination attorney Raymond F. Gregory, Norman Thomas: The Great Dissenter is the in-depth profile of a tireless humanitarian, accessible to readers of all backgrounds and highly recommended especially for biography and American political studies shelves. --Midwest Book Review

Thomas ran for president of the US six times as the Socialist Party candidate, constantly asserting that socialism was the sole path to economic and political justice. In the twenty-first century we now enjoy economic programs he proposed: social security, unemployment insurance, minimum wage laws, workers' compensation, and anti-discrimination laws. But at the time he proposed these radical ideas his fellow Americans little thought they would work. Attorney Gregory understands Thomas as a great advocate for justice and equality, but does not hesitate to describe Thomas's conflicts with others on the Left, his dreams that capitalism would dwindle, and his hopes that socialists and communists could cooperate to change American society. --BOOK NEWS, Inc./Reference & Research Book News

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