Writings and Speeches of Eugene V. Debs

By Eugene V. Debs | Go to book overview

JOHN SWINTON: RADICAL EDITOR AND LEADER1

When the history of labor's struggle for emancipation is written, the name of John Swinton will illumine some of its darkest as well as some of its brightest pages. He stood forth in the defense of the poor and pleaded their cause at a time when he was not half understood and not appreciated at all.

The grand figure of John Swinton looms before me as I write. Twenty-two years have passed since first I met him. He had been one of my heroes long before.

During the darkest days of the Pullman strike John Swinton was one of its staunchest champions. He stood face to face with Wall Street and charged it with its infamous crimes, and when John Swinton spoke the people listened. He had been the friend of Greeley, Raymond, Thurlow Weed, the elder Bennett, Charles A. Dana and other eminent journalists of that time and had served as editorial writer and editor-in-chief of New York's principal daily papers. After Greeley he was the only radical in that group of journalistic celebrities; the only one among them to denounce the crimes of the ruling class and to espouse the cause of the common people. He was profoundly respected by his associates, notwithstanding he told them the truth about themselves and their servility to the powers that corrupted the government and plundered the people. His response to the toast "The Independent Press," in which he declared that the vaunted "independent" press was a myth and that he and his associates were far better qualified to celebrate the prostitution of the press, has become a classic. He did not mince words and his eminent associates took no exception to his scathing indictment.

But it was as a distinctive champion of the working people that John Swinton found his chief inspiration and delight, although it cost him dearly in a material sense. He had it in his power to command the post of editor-in-chief of any of the great New York dailies and might easily have become one of their owners had he been so inclined, for Wall Street, though he hated it and fought it bitterly, appreciated fully his great force of character and commanding ability, which the working people he loved and passionately served appreciated not at all.

____________________
1
Pearson's Magazine, February, 1918.

-409-

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Writings and Speeches of Eugene V. Debs
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Introduction v
  • Contents xv
  • Proclamation to American Railway Union 1
  • Labor Omnia Vincit 4
  • Liberty 6
  • The Martyred Apostles Of Labor 20
  • Prison Labor - Its Effect on Industry and Trade 24
  • Outlook for Socialism in the United States 34
  • Martin Irons, Martyr 41
  • How I Became a Soclialist 43
  • Stopped the Blacklist 47
  • What's the Matter with Chicago? 50
  • The Western Labor Movement 54
  • The Negro and His Nemesis 66
  • The rape-fiend? Horrible! 73
  • The American Movement 76
  • Unionism And Socialism 95
  • The Socialist Party and The Working Class 125
  • The Federal Government and the Chicago Strike Reply to the Article on "The Government in the Chicago Strike of 1894" in Mcclure's Magazine, July, 1904, by Grover Cleveland, Ex-President of the U. S. 140
  • An Edeal Labor Press 161
  • Labor Day Greeting 163
  • Childhood 165
  • The Crimson Standard 166
  • Growth of the Injunction 167
  • Craft Unionism 171
  • Class Unionism 189
  • Revolutionary Unionism1 209
  • You Railroad Men 242
  • Arouse, Ye Slaves! 256
  • The Growth of Socialism 259
  • Open Letter to President Roosevelt 268
  • Prince and Proletaire 271
  • Roosevelts Labor Letters 274
  • December 2. 1859 279
  • John Brown: History's Greatest Hero 280
  • Looking Backward 281
  • Mother Jones 285
  • Thomas Mcgrady 286
  • Revolution 291
  • The Issue 293
  • Railroad Employees and Socialism 311
  • The Socialist Party's Appeal 317
  • Industrial Unionism 323
  • A Letter from Debs 326
  • A Letter from Debs on Immigration 326
  • Industrial Unionism 328
  • Working Class Politics 331
  • Danger Ahead 333
  • The Crisis in Mexico 337
  • Labor's Struggle for Supremacy 340
  • The McNamara Case And The Labor Movement 343
  • Sound Socialist Tactics 350
  • This is Our Year 358
  • Speech of Acceptance 361
  • Revolt of the Railroad Workers 373
  • Homestead And Ludlow 378
  • The Gunmen And The Miners 383
  • The Knights of Columbus 387
  • The Prospect for Peace 391
  • Fantine in Our Day 392
  • Letter Of Acceptance 395
  • Politicians and Preachers 398
  • Ruling Class Robbers 399
  • The Class War And Its Outlook 400
  • Tom Mooney Sentenced To Death 403
  • The I. W. W. Bogey 405
  • John Swinton: Radical Editor and Leader 409
  • The Canton, Ohio Speech 417
  • Address To The Jury 433
  • Statement To The Court 437
  • The Day of the People 440
  • Serving the Labor Movement 443
  • Sacco and Vanzetti 450
  • Woman--Comrade And Equal 453
  • The Relation of Society to the Convict 456
  • My 1920 Campaign for President 463
  • Leaving The Prison 468
  • Capitalism and Crime 473
  • Poverty and the Prison 477
  • Socialism and the Prison 481
  • Bibliography 485
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