Farrell Dobbs


Farrell Dobbs

Infobox Person
name = Farrell Dobbs


image_size = 180px
caption =
birth_date = birth date|1907|7|25|mf=y
birth_place = Queen City, Missouri
death_date = death date and age|1983|10|31|1907|7|25|mf=y
death_place =
occupation = Politician and trade unionist
spouse =
parents =
children =

Farrell Dobbs (July 25, 1907 – October 31, 1983) was an American Trotskyist politician and trade unionist.

Born in Queen City, Missouri, where his father was a worker in a coal mine. They moved to Minneapolis, and he graduated from North High School in 1925. In 1926, he left for North Dakota to find work, but returned the following fall. At this point, young Farrell Dobbs was a conservative Republican and supported Herbert Hoover for President. However, his political viewpoint was changed during the Great Depression in the 1930s. Seeing the plight of workers in that situation (including himself), he became politically radicalized to the left.

In 1933, while working for the Pittsburgh Coal Company in Minneapolis, Dobbs joined the Teamsters and after getting to know the three Trotskyist Dunne brothers, (Miles, Vincent & Grant Dunne) and Swedish socialist Carl Skoglund, he joined the Communist League of America. Dobbs was one of the initiators of a general strike in Minneapolis, and for a while worked full-time as a union organiser, but quit in 1939 to work for the new Socialist Workers Party (SWP).

Just like the SWP leader, James P. Cannon, Dobbs became a personal friend of the Russian revolutionary leader Leon Trotsky, whom he visited in Mexico shortly before Trotsky's death in 1940.

For opposing World War II, he and other leaders of the SWP and the Minneapolis Teamsters were convicted of violating the Smith Act, which made it illegal to "conspire to advocate the violent overthrow of the US Government." He served over a year in Sandstone Prison during the end of World War II (1944-1945).

After his release, he became the editor of the SWP's newspaper, "The Militant". From 1948 to 1960 he was the SWP's candidate for President of the United States, and succeeded James P. Cannon as national secretary of the party in 1953.

.

Farrell Dobbs retired in 1972 but remained in the party to his death.

Works

Dobbs was the author of a four-volume history/memoir of the Minneapolis struggles, "Teamster Rebellion", "Teamster Power", "Teamster Politics" & "Teamster Bureaucracy", and had completed two volumes of a planned history of the Marxist movement in the United States at the time of his death, called "Revolutionary Continuity: The Early Years, 1848-1917" & "Birth of the Communist Movement, 1918-1922".

ee also

*Minneapolis Teamsters Strike of 1934

External links

* [http://www.themilitant.com The Militant, the newspaper of the Socialist Workers Party]
* [http://www.pathfinderpress.com Pathfinder Books, the bookstore of the Socialist Workers Party]
* [http://struggle.net/ALC/TWITTU.htm Trotskyist Work in the Trade Unions, by Chris Knox]


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