Agrarian Socialism In Oklahoma: The Early Twentieth Century

Oscar Ameringer an Oklahoma Socialist Leader

Agrarian Socialism In America: Marx, Jefferson, and Jesus in the Oklahoma Countryside, 1904-1920. By Jim Bissett (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1999.)

Most Americans are unaware of the fact that the rural state of Oklahoma supported the strongest socialist movement that any American State ever produced. This apparently anomalous development has been chronicled by a number of scholars over the past 40 years. The first modern study was Howard L. Meredith’s 1969 Ph.D. dissertation “A History of the Socialist Party in Oklahoma, ” which was soon followed by Garin Burbank’s When Farmers Voted Red and James R. Green’s Grassroots Socialism in 1976 and 1978 respectively.(1) While all three are excellent studies, a more recent book, Jim Bissett’s Agrarian Socialism in America: Marx, Jefferson, and Jesus in the Oklahoma Countryside, 1904-1920 (1999), covers the same ground most successfully to date through clear arguments and an energetic and sympathetic point of view. READ MORE