Books for changing the world
Menu
Menu
Class Struggle and the Color Line
American Socialism and the Race Question, 1900-1930
A thoughtful collection of original documents highlighting the deep, early roots of Black radicalism in the US from 1900-1930.

As Black oppression moves again to the forefront of American public life, the history of radical approaches to combating racism has acquired renewed relevance.

Collecting, for the first time, source materials from a diverse array of writers and organizers, this reader provides a new perspective on the complex history of revolutionary debates about fighting anti-Black racism. Contextual material from the editor places each contribution in its historical and political setting, making this volume ideal for both scholars and activists.

"Paul Heideman’s book reconstructs for us the long flowering of anti-racist thought and organizing on the American Left and the central role played by Black Socialists in advancing a theory and practice of human liberation. Class struggle and anti-racism are two sides of the same coin in this powerful collection. At a time when the emancipation of oppressed and working-class people remain goals of progressives everywhere, Heideman’s book provides us a map to a past that can help us get free."-Bill V. Mullen, Professor of American Studies, Purdue University

"Should white workers pursue racial supremacy to make America great again? Ignore race by practicing color-blindness and dwelling on labor and economic issues alone? Or challenge oppression, bigotry, and exploitation in all their forms, wherever and whenever they appear? These strategies may sound like ones from our own time, but they were live options for the left a century ago. We are all in Paul Heideman's debt for compiling Class Struggle and the Color Line, a set of rare original sources that remind us of this: In the absence of sound social theory, disgusting racism can be passed off as populist rebellion. Don't let it happen again." -Christopher Phelps, co-author, Radicals in America: The U.S. Left since the Second World War

Paul Heideman is a PhD student in Sociology at New York University and is a frequent contributor to Jacobin and the Historical Materialism Conference.

Other books of interest

  • From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation

    An indispensable contribution to the movement for racial justice in “postracial” America.
  • The American Socialist Movement 1897-1912

    “This is the epic story of the struggle to build a mass socialist movement in ragtime America. Kipnis was a brilliant historian, and this is...

  • The Bending Cross

    The classic biography of Debs, one of the most important thinkers and activists in US.
  • Organized Labor and the Black Worker, 1619-1981

    A classic, radical history of Black workers' contribution to the American labor movement.
  • C. L. R. James and Revolutionary Marxism

    CLR James and Revolutionary Marxism collects some of the most important, but difficult to obtain, articles from the legendary Trinidadian-Marxist.