cover of book

Bridgeport's Socialist New Deal, 1915-36
by Cecelia Bucki
University of Illinois Press, 2001
Cloth: 978-0-252-02687-4 | Paper: 978-0-252-07363-2
Library of Congress Classification F104.B7B84 2001
Dewey Decimal Classification 974.6042


In November 1933, the Socialist Party of Bridgeport, Connecticut put slate roofer Jasper McLevy in the mayor's seat and nearly won control of the city council. Cecelia Bucki explores how labor gained first a foothold and then a stronghold in local politics as broad debates pitted previously unengaged working-class citizens against local business leaders and traditional party elites. 

In the heat of the Great Depression, the skilled union craftsmen who made up the bulk of the city's Socialist Party filled a political void created by the crumbling of mainstream parties, the disintegration of traditional modes of ethnic politics, and the city's acute fiscal crisis. In time, however, legislative measures and compromise politics blunted the progressive agenda. The local party split from the Socialist Party of America and became narrowly focused and reformist while still serving as the voice of the working class. 

A portrait of a stunning moment in American politics, Bridgeport's Socialist New Deal, 1915-36 offers a fascinating look at the volatility of politics in the early years of the Great Depression.

See other books on: Connecticut | Minorities | New Deal, 1933-1939 | Socialism | Working class
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