Norman Thomas, for over fifty years a relentless advocate for justice and equality for all Americans, was convinced that socialism was the sole path to economic and political justice.He advocated the adoption of economic programs that ultimately became the fabric of American life - social security, unemployment insurance, minimum wage laws, a ban on child labor, workers' compensation, and anti-discrimination laws.Fighting to relieve underprivileged workers from the extremes of a capitalistic system, he was subjected to physical attack, was tear-gassed, arrested, and jailed. Unquestionably a man of great courage, Thomas also was a man far in advance of his time, anticipating an ever-expanding welfare state and an international interdependency inspired by a global economy.Six times the Socialist Party candidate for President, Thomas promoted a brand of socialism that shunned class conflict and the violence of revolution. Thomas repeatedly condemned Communist Party advocacy of violent class warfare, believing that socialism should replace capitalism through democratic means and without violence. But this fundamental difference in Socialist and Communist principles did not deter Thomas from continuing attempts to persuade others that Socialists and Communists could co-operate in attaining that goal.In this work, Raymond F. Gregory examines Norman Thomas' life from the perspective of his lifelong endeavor to attain justice and equality for the poor and the oppressed of his time.
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