James P. Cannon Quotes

James P. Cannon
  • James P. Cannon

  • Date of birth: February 11, 1890
  • Died: August 21, 1974
  • Born: in Rosedale, Kansas, The United States.

  • Description: James P. Cannon was born in Rosedale, Kansas, in 1890. His father, who had originally come from Ireland, was a socialist and was a regular reader of Appeal to Reason.

    At the age of 18 he joined the Socialist Party of America and became a devoted follower of Eugene Debs. His friend Tom Kerry claimed that Cannon considered Debs as "one of the greatest orators, agitators, and propagandists that the American working class radical movement had produced."

    Cannon was also an organizer for the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) where he worked under Frank Little, who was lynched in 1917. Cannon also got to know Vincent Saint John. He later recalled: "Despite his modesty of disposition, his freedom from personal ambition, and his lack of the arts of self-aggrandizement, his work spoke loudly and brought him widespread fame."

    According to his friend Joseph Leroy Hansen: "Fundamentally, Jim was an angry person. He was angry at injustice, at inequities, at special privileges, at exploitation. He was angry at poverty, lack of opportunity, oppression, racism, and sexism."