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NPR Interviews Isserman on Democratic Socialists of America


The Democratic Socialists Of America (DSA), defined on its website as “the largest socialist organization in the United States,” has taken center stage in the media lately after DSA member Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’ Democratic primary victory in New York's 14th congressional district.  Maurice Isserman, the Publius Virgilius Rogers Professor of American History, was recently interviewed by National Public Radio (NPR) about the DSA, and his comments were included in broadcasts over the last weeks.

Getting To Know The DSA, heard on NPR’s Morning Edition on July 19, included Isserman’s conjecture that “The economic downturn of 2008, which turned the millennial generation in a significant way to the left, made them much more open to the idea of socialism.”

In What You Need To Know About The Democratic Socialists Of America on July 26, Isserman commented about the organization, "I'd say one of its strengths is that it's a big tent — at least on the left. People come in describing themselves as libertarian socialists or social democrats or anarchists or whatever you know as long as they subscribe to the basic tenets of the organization they can maintain their own political identity within it." He pointed out that “movements like Black Lives Matter and Occupy Wall Street acquainted young Americans with organizing, making them more open to a group like DSA, with its ambitious agenda. And Bernie Sanders, despite not being a DSA member, claimed the label of ‘democratic socialist,’ helping the group gain visibility as well.”

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