REFLECTIONS ON THE FAILURE OF SOCIALISM by Max Eastman

REFLECTIONS ON THE FAILURE OF SOCIALISM

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KIRKUS REVIEW

An introductory chapter and scattered glimpses throughout this group of 12 essays trace Eastman's own ideological odyssey from a position of rejection of extreme socialist idealism, acceptance of some of its more moderate tenets, to a considered if intense faith in the values of a capitalist society. Eastman's own explorations began with his editorship of Liberator and Masses, prior to World War I; continued in his support of John Reed, his contacts with anarchist and I.W.W. elements, his gradual process of rejection following his journey to Russia; and reached a crisis with his sudden realization that he was no longer a socialist. In his explanation of his pro-capitalist and anti-socialist position today he is in turn vindictive, cajoling, oversimplified, didactic, mocking. He describes why in his opinion, the Soviet experiment was doomed to failure; he discusses the collapse of liberalism in America; explores the vanity, race prejudice, loathing of moral standards which activated Marx; he charges the socialist with ""blocking the efforts of the free world to get on its feet"". The appeal will rest in part on Eastman's name, but largely to readers interested in various approaches to the history of American liberalism.

Pub Date: Feb. 22nd, 1955
Publisher: Devin-Adair