Throughout U.S. history, radical organizations and grassroots groups have created cultural and educational institutions of various kinds with the goal of promoting progressive social change. Newspapers, journals, colleges, schools, camps, speaking bureaus, literary societies, debating clubs, theater groups, and so on have been established for this purpose. Although most of the attention has been given to adults, some radical activists have also strived to create alternative activities for children, for example, ones that would expose them to “the socialist perspective” and the reasons for “good rebellion” against entrenched capitalist interests.

Such radical activities continue in different forms today, but the heyday for those who explicitly identified themselves as socialists was 1890–1920, although their efforts continued on a smaller scale for several decades afterward. Schools, ...

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