M.I.A. Library: Victor Berger

Victor Berger

CLR James as a young man

February 28, 1860 – March 3, 1929

Victor Berger (February 28, 1860 – August 7, 1929) was an Austrian-American socialist politician and journalist who was a founding member of the Social Democratic Party of America and its successor, the Socialist Party of America. Born in Austria-Hungary, Berger immigrated to the United States as a young man and became an important and influential socialist journalist in Wisconsin. He helped establish the so-called Sewer Socialist movement. Also a politician, in 1910, he was elected as the first Socialist to the U.S. House of Representatives, representing a district in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

In 1919, Berger was convicted of violating the Espionage Act for publicizing his anti-interventionist views and as a result was denied the seat to which he had been twice elected in the House of Representatives. The verdict was eventually overturned by the Supreme Court in 1921, and Berger was elected to three successive terms in the 1920s.

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American Socialism
Social Democratic Herald, whole no. 1 (July 9, 1898), pp. 3-4.

No Imposibilism for Us!
The Vanguard [Milwaukee, WI],
v. 4, no. 11 (Sept. 1906), pp. 238-240.

Socialism, Revolution, & Civilization
Editorial published in The Milwaukee Leader, v. 7, no. 216,
home edition (Aug. 19, 1918), pg. 1.

The Fourth Liberty Loan
Published as the lead section of Berger’s “Current Topics”
column in The Milwaukee Leader, v. 7, no. 249, Home Edition (Sept. 28, 1918), pg. 1.

Punishment of Political Offenders in Germany and America
Published as an untitled “Current Topics” editorial in The Milwaukee Leader, v. 7, no. 259, home edition (Oct. 10, 1918), pg. 1.

In the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave
Unsigned editorial in The Milwaukee Leader, v. 7, no. 267, home edition (Oct. 19, 1918), pg. 1.
Authorship attributed to Editor Victor Berger based on style and content

Excerpt of a Letter from Victor L. Berger in Milwaukee to Morris Hillquit at Saranac Lake, NY, August 20, 1919
Copy in the Morris Hillquit Papers, State Historical Society of Wisconsin, Madison

In Defense of Representative Government: Speech to Congress — October 17, 1919
Published as “Congressman Victor L. Berger’s Speech” in
the Milwaukee Leader, v. 8, no. 267 (Oct. 18, 1919), pg. 6.

The Party and the Future
Published in The New Day [Milwaukee], v. 2, no. 33, whole no. 62 (Aug. 13, 1921), pg. 6

The Ku Klux Klan
Published in the Miami Valley Socialist [Dayton, OH], v. 11, whole no. 607 (Oct. 26, 1923), pg. 2.


Last updated on: 12 July 2021