Populism—progressive or retrogressive force? Posing this question, Norman Pollack draws on Populist manuscripts and newspapers, the best evidence for the movement’s response to industrialism. In the words of farmers and workers, Populism springs to life, ceasing to be an abstraction. The author concludes that the movement, while primarily agrarian, had significant intellectual and labor support; accepting industrialization, it opposed capitalistic industrialism as alienating and degrading the individual. In this intellectual history—based on data most of which has been ignored—the author takes a first step toward a more comprehensive analysis of industrial America.