The Socialist Awakening

The Socialist Awakening
What's Different Now About the Left

“A person of the left, Judis specializes in speaking truth to liberals.”
—E.J. Dionne Jr., The Washington Post

As the pandemic depression lays bare the failure of market capitalism worldwide, and as protesters flood the streets in unprecedented numbers seeking racial and economic equality, you can find something in common among many of those disillusioned with the way things are—socialism. How did this happen? Why now?

John B. Judis, himself a veteran of socialist movements, explores how an ideology thought to be long dead has taken hold as a broad movement among younger people dissatisfied with mainstream politics both on the right and the left, in America, Great Britain, and elsewhere in Europe and the world.

From Karl Marx to Eduard Bernstein, Eugene Debs to Victor Berger, Bernie Sanders to Jeremy Corbyn, The Socialist Awakening chronicles the rebirth of an idea driven by a rising anti-capitalist resentment among those looking to reclaim public power over the direction of private enterprise—an idea that has become urgent in the wake of the pandemic and the economic depression.

Published with support from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF)

Read CGR Director Nicholas Lemann’s Letter to the Reader

The Socialist Awakening
  • ISBN: 9781734420708
  • Price: $15.99
  • E-book ISBN: 9781734420715
  • On Sale: September 29, 2020
  • Pages: 140


“The rebirth of American socialism has come complete with any number of explanatory and exhortatory books, the best of which is The Socialist Awakening, a brief, incisive volume by veteran political journalist and longtime democratic socialist, John B. Judis... [He] writes not merely as an analyst of an ideology's return but as an advocate for its necessity, with particularly shrewd assessments of how the new American socialism can advance, and, alternatively, how it may marginalize itself into irrelevance...essential reading for progressives and socialists.” American Prospect

“In The Socialist Awakening, the journalist John B. Judis proposes that a new socialism is emerging among the young and educated. He builds on his earlier volumes on nationalism and populism, collectivist ideas that have surged because of a ‘breakdown’ of the ‘consensus on the virtues of the free market and of globalization.’” New York Times Book Review

“An eye-opening read.... I felt an emotional connection to this book about how socialism has evolved over the years in America and Great Britain, and where it stands today. His is an unvarnished rendition--the highs and lows, warts and all--of how we got to today and where we might go from here if we're successful.” LA Progressive

“Completing the trilogy he began with The Populist Explosion and The Nationalist Revival, journalist and political analyst Judis offers a cogent, incisive examination of growing interest in socialist ideals.... A pragmatic view of systemic social change.” Kirkus Reviews


Robert Wright & John B. Judis — Bloggingheads with Robert Wright

When “Socialism” stopped being a dirty word — The Record with Bill Radke

"The Socialist Awakening": John Judis On The New Left — Midday

White supremacists and the “radical left” in the Trump/Biden debate — The Vermont Conversation with David Goodman

Is Socialism Coming To America? — Jeff Schechtman’s “Talk Cocktail”

Indeep With Angie Coiro 11/17/2020 — In Deep with Angie Coiro


FRONTLINE presents: THE CHOICE: Biden, Trump and the Election Battleground — watch the video

In conversation with George Hammond of the Commonwealth Club — watch the video

About the author

John B. Judis
© Miranda Sita

John B. Judis is Editor-At-Large at Talking Points Memo and author of many books, including The Nationalist Revival: Trade, Immigration, and the Revolt Against GlobalizationThe Populist Explosion: How the Great Recession Transformed American and European PoliticsGenesis: Truman, American Jews, and the Origin of the Arab-Israeli Conflict, and The Emerging Democratic Majority, co-written with Ruy Teixeira. He has written for numerous publications, including The New RepublicThe National JournalThe New York Times MagazineMother Jones, and The Washington Post. Born in Chicago, he received his B.A. and M.A. degrees in Philosophy from the University of California, Berkeley. He lives in Silver Spring, MD.  @JohnBJudis