Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Eugene Victor Debs  

Pen Name: None

Genre: History Non-Fiction

Audience: Adult;

Born: 1855 in Terra Haute, Indiana

-- Eugene Victor Debs on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

Eugene Debs was a union organizer who led the Pullman strike in Chicago in 1894 which shut down the U. S. railsystem in the northeastern United States. He died at a Elmhurst sanatorium in 1926 at the age of 71.

Biographical and Professional Information

Debs was born in Terre Haute Indiana where he worked as grocery clerk and locomotive fireman. He entered politcs when he founded the American Railway Union and sat on the Terre Haute City Council and served in the Indiana Legislature. In 1894, he led the Pullman Strike in Chicago which caused President Cleveland to call out federal troops. Debs was jailed in Woodstock Illinois for violating an injunction. Upon relase, he campaigned for William Jennings Bryan in 1896 and then formed the Socialist party in 1897 and ran for President on its ticket 5 times, the last from federal prison in Atlanta. He was sent there in 1918 during the Wilson administration for anti-war speeches at Canton, Ohio. He was pardoned by President Harding in 1921 but had suffered ill-health from his stay in prison. Subsequenly, he entered a sanitorium in Elmhurst, Illinois where he died in 1926.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

Writings of Eugene V Debs: A Collection of Essays by America's Most Famous Socialist
ISBN: 1934941484

Red and Black Publishers. 2009

A collection of speeches, pamphlets and writings from Eugene V Debs, from 1888 to 1925. Beginning his career as an organizer for the American Railway Union, Debs ran for President on the Socialist Party ticket five times, polling up to 6 percent of the total vote in 1912. Jailed in 1919 for an antiwar speech in Ohio, Debs ran for President from his jail cell in 1920, polling almost a million votes, 3.4 percent of the total votes cast.

Eugene V. Debs Speaks
ISBN: 0873481321

Pathfinder Press (NY). 1994

Speeches by the pioneer U.S. socialist agitator and labor leader, jailed for opposing Washington's imperialist aims in World War I. Debs speaks out on capitalism and socialism anti-immigrant chauvinism how anti-Black racism weakens the labor movement Rockefeller's massacre of striking miners at Ludlow, Colorado and more.

Walls & Bars: Prisons & Prison Life In The "Land Of The Free"
ISBN: 0882862480

Charles H Kerr. 2000

Deb's only full-length book (first published in 1927) is a lively memoir as well as a stirring critique, drawing on his own prison experiences. He served time for his leading role in the Pullman Strike in 1894, and was sent to the penitentiary again in 1919 for opposing World War 1. In 1920, as Convict N. 9653, he ran for President on the Socialist ticket and received a million votes. Debs explains in this book why prisons don't (and can't) reform or deter anyone, and how prisons in fact create criminals. He discusses prison labor and the links between prison and militarism. Above all, he exposes the class bias of the entire US criminal justice system, showing that "the prison problem is directly correlated with poverty." His conclusion: "Capitalism and crime have become almost synonymous terms." Arguing that prison "should not merely be reformed but abolished," Debs called for a socialism of solidarity, freedom and love, firmly rooted in industrial democracy, without which political democracy is a sham. Only with the advent of such a social revolution, Debs's view, can society succeed in "taking the jail out of man as well taking man out of jail". This handsome new edition contains an important introduction by David Dellinger - himself a lifelong revolutionary, and no stranger to prisons.

Debs, His Life, Writings and Speeches: With a Department of Appreciations (1908)
ISBN: 1112204105

Cornell University Library. 2009

Originally published in 1908. This volume from the Cornell University Library's print collections was scanned on an APT BookScan and converted to JPG 2000 format by Kirtas Technologies. All titles scanned cover to cover and pages may include marks notations and other marginalia present in the original volume.