Book Review | It Didn’t Happen Here: Why Socialism Failed in the United States by Seymour Martin Lipset and Gary Marks


Wow! This book was remarkable in that it was probably the dullest book I’ve ever read. I am a Socialist and I was very interested in the information these authors had to share, but it was so academic and dry that I couldn’t read it for more than 10 minutes at a time.

I’m not sure who the audience is supposed to be for this book. “Beginners” to the themes within (Socialism, labor unions, the electoral college, immigration etc.) would be completely overwhelmed and confused, because the authors make no attempt to clarify background information. That would be fine if the book was geared towards people who already have a solid foundation of these issues, but the reasons the authors come up with are nothing new to those of us who have studied the Socialist party in this country.

On the upside, I will say that this book was extensively researched. For every point they made, they had pages and pages and pages (and pages!) of graphs and studies and examples to back up their assertions. I can see this being a useful resource for someone writing a paper, but it was definitely way too academic and zzzzzzzz for anyone who’s simply interested in the subject.

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