Eugene Debs and the American Movement
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Eugene Debs & the American Movement is an educational video that documents fifty years of long-suppressed history. Using extensively researched photographs, drawings and newsreel footage, it tells a story of the bloody strikes and brutal government reaction to the American workers' attempts to organize.
This film is movingly narrated in Deb's own words, read from his speeches and writings, by his friend and comrade, Shubert Sebree.
From after the Civil War until his death in 1926, Debs was part of U.S. history at a time when the foundations of modern industrial and corporate nation were established. In this fifty year period, Debs was influenced by events as diverse as the massive railroad strike of 1877, the rapid growth of monopolies in the 1890s, World War I, and the Russian Revolution. This film presents a unique picture of the historical conditions as well as a portrait of a man who:
- Founded the American Railway Union
- Led the Pullman Strike of 1894
- Founded the Socialist Party of America in 1901
- Ran four times as the Socialist Party presidential candidatecampaigning tirelessly, and explaining the principles of socialism to people across the United States
- Organized the Industrial Workers of the World, along with Mother Jones, Big Bill Haywood, and others
- Served two and a half years in federal prison for opposing World War I, and received one million presidential votes while in jail
Debs and the movement he helped build are more than just nostalgia, they are roots of a long and bloody struggle of American working people to own collectively what they produce.
What they say about "Eugene Debs and the American Movement"
"It's quite a challenge to piece together an audiovisual presentation of a period that preceded the audiovisual agehappily this film does so in a manner that is both emotional and educational."
Labor Studies Journal
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