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Thomas, Norman M. (1884–1968)

AMONG THE PROMINENT socialist leaders of 20th-century America, Norman Thomas has a unique place. He was born in Marion, Ohio, and after graduating from Princeton University in 1905 and Union Theological Seminary in New York City in 1911, he became the pastor of the East Harlem Church and accepted the chairmanship of American Parish, a settlement house in one of the poorest areas of the city.

Thomas entertained pacifist ideas and opposed the participation of United States in World War I. Increasingly, Thomas developed a liking for socialist ideology and finally in 1918 officially joined the Socialist Party. In the same year, he left the pastorship of East Harlem and was appointed secretary of the Fellowship of the Reconciliation, an international pacifist organization. In 1921 he ...

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