Read With Shred 1: The “S” Word

We are super excited to announce #ReadWithShred, a book review series with our great friend and comrade Sean Estelle @chitrans_plant ! for the past two years Sean has been reviewing books on Instagram. They are shooting for 21,000 pages in a year and focusing on what makes certain titles pertinent to our current political struggles. Now we are teaming up! We’d love for you to join us in sharing your thoughts on books or articles you’ve read! Below is Sean’s first book review of the year, and a description of our series. Link in bio to Sean’s Medium article discussing their journey and recapping their favorite books of 2020.⁠

Portrait and background by Sunny Grissom, Shred resident artist ♡♡♡

The “S” Word: A Short History of An American Tradition… Socialism ; John Nichols (2015, 324 pgs)⁠

5/5 stars⁠

This book is an important revisionist history of the United States that isn’t as broad and sweeping as Zinn’s People’s History, but rather chooses specific characters and episodes to make the point in its subtitle – that socialism is a homegrown American tradition, despite the contradictions presented by genocide, slavery, and everything else terrible that is in our rear-view mirror. The chapter on A. Philip Randolph is particularly good, and worth reading for that alone – but the rest of the book is quite well-written too, and it’s been a nice way to finish 2020/start 2021 reading about some inspirational figures to take up the mantle of (even if our aims are not quite the same, like with Michael Harrington or Victor Berger or Abraham Lincoln).⁠