Q&A with Radical Warrior Author David Dixon and Discount Offer

OhioatPerryville

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Appearing now on the Western Theater in the Civil War website/blog is a Q&A with David Dixon, author of a new bio on August Willich, a radical marxist who served the Union at many western battles. The book is excellent...and readers of the blog can find details to buy a signed copy of the book from David for a reduced cost with free shipping to boot!

Q&A with Author David Dixon
 
Joined
Nov 9, 2015
Location
Santa Barbara, California
Thanks for the heads up.

FYI -- Willich considered himself a communist but not a Marxist. Confusing for most of us, I know, but left sectarianism has always been a thing...
You are right, Lt. Vail. There was actually no such thing as a Marxist in 1865. That term was first coined in 1885, after Marx's death. Willich himself was a radical communist in Europe, to the left of Marx. The two worked together in 1847-48, but ended up despising each other. When Willich moved to America in 1853, he immediately realized that Communism was not a realistic goal in the US. He became a strong advocate for organized labor and developed his own concept of what I would call democratic socialism, advocating for extensive reform within the system. His vision was a worker's republic where the legislative branch would be replaced by trade associations and that the workers themselves would control the fruits of their labor. This came to naught in his lifetime, but over the long term, "radical" socialist 19th century ideas like an eight-hour work day, child labor laws, worker's comp insurance, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid became mainstream public policy in the 20th century. Willich's real talents shined in the military arena, as a fearless and peerless leader, innovator, and tactician. He lead from the front and his coolness and nimbleness under fire was remarkable. That said, he was a second-rate philosopher and a downright lousy politician. I found his life story, however, irresistible.
 
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Location
Santa Barbara, California
Of course I will buy the book and study it closely.

I wonder if it will get any book reviews in the left/alternative press? Seems the "The Commie General who fought the Confederates" would be an irresisitible hook...
You are too perceptive. I have absolutely no political agenda with the Far Left, but a very big influencer in that universe posted a picture on Twitter with the book and it went somewhat viral last week with a sudden rush of orders. Of course, I am in the dark as to how to market to the "Dirtbag Left," as the NY Times calls them. Want to be my consultant?
 

Bruce Vail

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Jul 8, 2015
You are too perceptive. I have absolutely no political agenda with the Far Left, but a very big influencer in that universe posted a picture on Twitter with the book and it went somewhat viral last week with a sudden rush of orders. Of course, I am in the dark as to how to market to the "Dirtbag Left," as the NY Times calls them. Want to be my consultant?

I have a sinking feeling that when the NYT talks about the dirtbag left they are talking about me!

Please go ahead and post some links to that Twitter stuff so we can all see...
 
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Joined
Nov 9, 2015
Location
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The Midwest is littered with remains of failed communes and communist/socialist utopian visions from the 1800's.
True. Wilhelm Weitling, a German immigrant, established such a commune in Iowa in 1853 and tried to convince August Willich to join and run it. Willich declines saying that it would take more courage than facing the mouth of a cannon. Willich did not believe such schemes would work in America and as you point out, most all did not
 
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mo
True. Wilhelm Weitling, a German immigrant, established such a commune in Iowa in 1853 and tried to convince August Willich to join and run it. Willich declines saying that it would take more courage than facing the mouth of a cannon. Willich did not believe such schemes would work in America and as you point out, most all did not
Hadn't heard of Weitling and Communia, probally most famous example in Iowa would be Amana colonies, then in western Illinois Swedes tried one at Bishop Hill, then after Mormons left Nauvoo, French Icarians tried there. West of me Germans tried a colony at Bethel under a Dr Keil.

All had varying degrees of tourism after failing. Amana Colonies most successful as a tourist site today.
 
Joined
Aug 25, 2013
Location
Hannover, Germany
it went somewhat viral last week with a sudden rush of orders.

Love to hear that about the rush of orders!! Congratulations!!
(and I loved to read that you called me "colleague" in the Q&A article while I just did some humble transcription from Fraktur print and a ragged attempt to translate from 19th century German. You are too generous!!)
 
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