Twentieth Century Radicalism in Minnesota Oral History Project: Interview with John Enestvedt
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Description BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION: John Enestvedt was born in 1906 and raised on a farm near Sacred Heart, Minnesota. He became acquainted with the Industrial Workers of the World through the field hands and seasonal laborers who worked on the family's farm, and as a young man took an active role in the Nonpartisan League. In 1928 he joined the Socialist Party, and quickly aligned himself with the faction which evolved into the Socialist Workers' Party. During the early 1930's he participated in the Farm Holiday Association, and then apparently spent some time in the Twin Cities, where he became friends with the organizers of the Teamsters Local 574/544. He taught adult education classes for the Works Progress Administration, and organized for the Federal Workers Section of Local 544. Before long, however, he seems to have returned to farming, and at the time of the interview was living near Sacred Heart again. SUBJECTS DISCUSSED: The interview touches on a number of subjects: Enestvedt's Norwegian heritage; the IWW and the Nonpartisan League; the Farm Holiday Association; his membership in the Socialist and Socialist Workers Parties; the tensions between Trotskyites and Stalinists in the 1930's; and the people active in the Teamsters Local 544. Enestvedt was particularly friendly with Farrell Dobbs, and gives a lot of anecdotal information about him. He also describes farming practices in the late 1910s, before tractors were common. COMMENTS ON INTERVIEW: Enestvedt's memory is clouded, and he confuses his subjects. The interview lacks depth and detail as a result. Not all names and events could be verified.
Quantity 1 hour sound cassette
17 pages transcript
Format Content Category: sound recordings
Content Category: text
Measurements 00:59:10 running time
Creation Interviewee: Enestvedt, John
Interviewer: Salerno, Sal
Made in Sacred Heart, Renville County, Minnesota, United States
Subjects Made in Sacred Heart, Renville County, Minnesota, United States
Dates Creation: 05/21/1988
Holding Type Oral History - Interview
Identifiers OH 30
Accession Number AV1990.228.15
More Info MHS Library Catalog
Related Collections Oral History - Project, MHS Collection, project: 'Twentieth Century Radicalism in Minnesota Oral History Project'

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