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The Third Six-Pack
Nominations for the Oklahoma Reads Oklahoma Book for 2006

Agrarian Socialism in America
Marx, Jefferson, and Jesus in the Oklahoma Countryside 1904-1920
by Jim Bissett
University of Oklahoma Press

2002
pp. 272
paperback
ISBN 0806134275
$14.95

"It comes as something of a surprise that the strongest state expression of socialism in the United States occurred... in the remote towns and hamlets of rural Oklahoma."

Between 1907 and 1920, the Socialist Party of Oklahoma successfully elected its candidates to a variety of state and local offices. Bissett’s work sheds light on this fascinating period in state politics, showing how Oklahoma comrades borrowed from the ideological traditions of the American Revolution, agrarian reform, and Christian doctrine to give Marxism a uniquely American voice.

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Reviews

"The author skillfully leads the reader through the complicated twists and turns of Socialism's precarious existence… This is a carefully researched and passionately written book. "
Pamela Riney-Kehrberg , American Historical Review

"A compelling and provocative interpretation of both the practical experience and the intellectual underpinnings that united to create a unique form of agrarian socialism… Bissett's research is substantial, and his insights into the complex negotiations for power under the dynamic of dramatic change make this an important work in the field of political history."
Linda Reese, Agricultural History

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About the Author

Jim Bissett is William J. Story Professor of History Chair in the Department of History and Geography at Elon University in North Carolina. Check out his page on the Elon site.

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