In this readable, thoroughly researched book, Professor Rossiter attempts to show that Marxism never really had a chance in the U. S. because it essentially collided head-on with almost every principle of American life. En route to his conclusion, he offers a short course in basic Marxism. Marxist monism collided with American pluralism; its collectivism ran into American individualism and its radicalism conflicted with the casual American blend of liberalism and conservatism, Rossiter concludes. He regards Marx as one of the truly great thinkers of all time, a man who influenced all thinkers who followed him--even those who despised him most. Not only Marxism, but all radicalism was doomed in America because it ""seemed not so much wrongheaded and dangerous as simply irrelevant"". Its best features were ""cannibalized"" by the major U.S. parties. Nothing especially earth-shaking in this work, but a sound, dispassionate, documented exposition well spiced with the kind of lively style that--for example--describes Friedrich Engels as ""the good Sherpa of Marx's assault on the summit of capitalism"".