Thomas Alter II uses a multigenerational biography to recover a long history of agrarian challenges to capitalism in Texas and beyond that makes bold arguments about the genealogy of working-class radicalism in the United States and offers critical lessons for the American left today. Alter sheds new light on familiar subjects in the history of US agrarian radicalism—the Farmers Alliance, People's Party, and Socialist Party of America—by situating them in the transnational context of revolution: Germany in 1848, Mexico in 1910, and Russia in 1917. Focusing on three generations of the German American Meitzen family, who first arrived in Texas from Silesia in 1849 and became leading radical activists, Alter “demonstrates the existence of a decades-long farmer-labor bloc” that ran from the Greenback Party in the 1870s to the Farm-Labor Union of America in the 1920s (2). This farmer-labor bloc, he argues, “moved the political spectrum of US political culture...

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