Red Special: The Campaign
of 1908
Progress is born of agitation. It is agitation or stagnation. I have taken my choice. Eugene V. Debs, 1908

Progressivism came into its own with Theodore Roosevelt's election in 1904, and the dynamic, colorful President stole much of the limelight from the socialists, although they profited greatly from the temper of the times. American socialism's golden age lay just ahead, in the years between 1910 and 1914, but internal troubles cast much of the party's work into the doldrums during the period 1904 to 1910. Yet they were times of slow growth and cautious reorganization. Having won footholds in many areas, the socialists now settled to consolidation and perfection of their organization in preparation for the great revolution which they confidently believed was just over the horizon.

The socialist propaganda machine ran more smoothly, sending forth an ever increasing stream of literature to ease the paths of organizers and speakers who extolled the virtues of the coming commonwealth. Moreover, the socialist press grew accordingly, capitalizing on the


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Eugene V. Debs


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