News Release

Socialism and May Day


d5271bab803d32e32c288ce86ca76b8b-w204@1xPETER LINEBAUGH,  plineba at
Linebaugh’s books include The Incomplete, True, Authentic and Wonderful History of May Day, recently released in paperback. He is a professor at the University of Toledo.

He appeared on “Democracy Now!” this morning. Linebaugh highlights the importance of May Day, particularly now, with the Bernie Sanders campaign raising questions about the nature of political revolution and socialism. He notes May Day’s dual origins, one dealing with spring and nature (green) — and one dealing with global worker solidarity (red). He highlights that it originated in the U.S., but is celebrated virtually everywhere in the world except in the U.S. — the U.S. government has instead delegated May 1 “Law Day.” See his essay, with the same title as his book: “The Incomplete, True, Authentic and Wonderful History of May Day.”

Publishers Weekly wrote earlier this month of his book: “In these collected ruminations spanning three decades, historian Linebaugh (Stop, Thief! The Commons, Enclosures, and Resistance) celebrates the labor movement and bemoans the corporatization and alienation of modern life that combine to weaken workers’ bonds with their fellow workers and with the rejuvenating spirit of nature. Written to mark May Day, the international workers’ holiday, Linebaugh’s 11 playful and elegiac treatises motivate, enrage, and inform. Many of the pieces circle back to the same themes and events, particularly watershed moments such as Chicago’s Haymarket massacre. In one essay, Linebaugh frames the genesis of America’s early identity in the ideological battle between Thomas Morton’s tolerant, ecumenical colony at Merry Mount and its more famous and famously ascetic Puritan neighbors.”