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IWW History & Organizing

Books About the IWW

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  1. Break Their Haughty Power

    Break Their Haughty Power


    Break Their Haughty Power: Joe Murphy in the Heyday of the Wobblies

    by Eugene Nelson

    A biographical novel by Eugene Nelson - Joe Murphy, chased out of his Missouri hometown by anti-Catholic bigots, hopped aboard a freight train and headed west for the wheat harvest. Within weeks, the 13-year-old Joe became a labor activist and organizer for the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW, or 'Wobblies'). Eugene Nelson, a longtime friend of Joe Murphy, recounts many labor and free-speech struggles through the eyes of 'Kid Murphy.' The Wobblies built a dynamic mass movement, and this biographical novel relates Murphy's adventures in the wheat fields, lumber camps, and on the high seas. Historical events include the 1919 Centralia massacre in Washington state; the Colorado coal miners' strike of 1927; and the 1931 strike by workers building Boulder Dam. Nelson also relates the young Murphy's reflections on meeting Helen Keller, Eugene Debs, and Bill Haywood.

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  2. Carlos Cortez Koyokuikatl: Soapbox Artist & Poet BOOK

    Carlos Cortez Koyokuikatl: Soapbox Artist & Poet BOOK


    Exhibition catalog of Mexican-American Chicago based artist and IWW activist. Creator of our Joe Hill, Ben Fletcher and Lucy Parsons posters. Learn More
  3. How to Fire Your Boss: A Worker's Guide to Direct Action

    How to Fire Your Boss: A Worker's Guide to Direct Action


    "The indignity of working-for-a-living is well-known to anyone who ever has. Democracy, the great principle on which American society is supposedly founded, is thrown out the window as soon as we punch the time clock at work. With no say over what we produce, or how that production is organized, and with only a small portion of that product's value finding its way into our paychecks, we have every right to be pissed off at our bosses. "Ultimately, of course, we need to create a society in which working people make all the decisions about the production and distribution of goods and services. Harmful or useless industries, such as arms and chemical manufacturing, or the banking and insurance scams, would be eliminated. The real essentials, like food, shelter, and clothing, could be produced by everyone working just a few hours each week. "In the meantime, however, we need to develop strategies that both prefigure this utopia AND counteract the day to day drudgery of contemporary wageslavery.…" Learn More
  4. Joe Hill: The IWW and the Making of a Revolutionary Workingclass Counterculture

    Joe Hill: The IWW and the Making of a Revolutionary Workingclass Counterculture


    Joe Hill: The IWW and the Making of a Revolutionary Workingclass Counterculture - By Franklin Rosemont - Bughouse Square Series.

    JOE HILL (1877-1915) is the best-known figure in the heroic history of the Indus trial Workers of the World (a.k.a. Wobblies). U.S. labor's most worldrenowned martyr and celebrated songwriter, he is remembered above all for his songs in the Little Red Song Book 'The Preacher and the Slave' ('Pie in the Sky'), 'Mr Block,' 'There Is Power in a Union,' and many more that are still popular on picketlines today.

    Franklin Rosemont's important new book presents a fresh and in-depth study of the life and work of the famous Wobbly bard, and of the revolutionary counterculture he came to personify.

    Examining Hill's status as a 'near-mythic' figure in history as well as his enormous influence-on Wob artists; other radicals, songwriters, and poets; on movements as varied as the 1910s Chicago Renaissance and the 1950s Beat Generation-Rosemont also examines the many appearances by Hill and the IWW in popular culture, including mass-market mysteries, science-fiction, and rock'n'roll. In chapters on 'The Hobo Contribution to Critical Theory,' 'Wobblies Against Whiteness,' 'Forerunners of Earth First! and Eco-Socialism,' and 'Surrealism, Wobbly Style' he argues that Hill's legacy -the profound but playful old-time Wobbly counterculture-is still the 'most important inspiration and model for a new revolutionary movement' today.

    'The fine chapter on Hill's involvement in the Mexican Revolution is alone well worth the cover price.... No doubt about it: This is the best book ever written about Joe Hill.'
    --Utah Phillips
    'In these 600-plus pages there is not one bit oftedious reading. This is an important book.'
    --Industrial Worker
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  5. Labor Law for the Rank and Filer 2nd Edition

    Labor Law for the Rank and Filer 2nd Edition


    A book every worker and organizer should own and read. Learn More
  6. Left of the Left - My Memories of Sam Dolgoff

    Left of the Left - My Memories of Sam Dolgoff


    Sam Dolgoff (1902–1990) was a house painter by trade and member of the IWW from the early 1920s until his death. Sam, along with his wife Esther, was at the center of American anarchism for seventy years, bridging the movement's generations, providing continuity between past and present, and creating some of the most vital books and journals from the Great Depression through WWII, the Civil Rights era, and into the last decade of the century. This instant classic of radical history, written with passion and humor by his son, conjures images of a lost New York City, the faded power of immigrant and working-class neighborhoods, and the blurred lines dividing proletarian and intellectual culture. Learn More
  7. Lines of Work

    Lines of Work


    Lines of Work offers a rare look at life and social relationships viewed from the cubicle, cash register, hospital, factory, and job site. Drawn from the writings of Recomposition, an online project of worker radicals, the text brings together organizers from a handful of countries sharing their experiences with the trouble of working and fighting back. Learn More
  8. Memoirs of a Wobbly

    Memoirs of a Wobbly


    by Henry E. McGuckin

    Published here for the first time, this lively narrative by old-time Wobbly Henry McGuckin (1893-1974) is not like any other book on the Industrial Workers Of The World. Although 'Mac' knew and worked with many of the best-known Wobblies - Big Bill Haywood, Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, Frank Little and others - his purpose here is not to discuss prominent personalities or world-famous events, but rather to tell of the unsung tens of thousands of militant working men and women who, in the 1910s, made the IWW one of the grandest labor organizations the world has ever seen. Here at last is the Wobblies' inside story: how they lived and worked and hoboed; how they organized; how they ran their legendary strikes and free-speech fights; how they went about 'fanning the flames of discontent' each and every day all across America. Packed with invaluable firsthand information unavailable anywhere else, this splendid, compact chronicle of a rank-and-filer's exciting adventures fighting for working class emancipation takes its place among America's labor classics. Also included are a 1914 article by McGuckin from the International Socialist Review, and a sketch of the author's later life by his son, Henry McGuckin Jr.

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  9. Oil, Wheat, & Wobblies

    Oil, Wheat, & Wobblies

    Regular Price: $35.00

    Special Price: $29.99

    Oil, Wheat & Wobblies: The Industrial Workers of the World in Oklahoma, 1905-1930 by Nigel Anthony Sellars

    The Industrial Workers of the World, or Wobblies, a radical labor union, played an important role in Oklahoma between the founding of the union in 1905 and its demise in 1930. In Oil, Wheat, & Wobblies, Nigel Anthony Sellars describes IWW efforts to organize migratory harvest hands and oil-field workers in the state and relationships between the union and other radical and labor groups such as the Socialist Party and the American Federation of Labor. Focusing on the emergence of migratory labor and the nature of the work itself in industrializing the region, Sellars provides a social history of labor in the Oklahoma wheat belt and the mid-continent oil fields. Using court cases and legislation, he examines the role of state and federal government in suppressing the union during World War I. Oil, Wheat, & Wobblies concludes with a description of the IWW revival and subsequent decline after the war, suggesting that the decline is attributable more to the union's failure to adapt to postwar technological change, its rigid attachment to outmoded tactics, and its internal policy disputes, than to political repression.

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  10. Organizing Wall to Wall

    Organizing Wall to Wall


    A history by Peter Rachleff of the Independent Union of All Workers (IUAW), a militant, industrial union formed in the meat packing plants of Minnesota in the 1930s. Learn More

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