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IWW History & Organizing

Books About the IWW

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  1. Always On Strike

    Always On Strike


    Frank Little is considered by some to be the greatest organizer produced by the U.S. labor movement, and yet precious little has been written about the famous Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) agitator. Little was a key leader of the country’s first free speech fights, organized a number of mass strikes, and was considered such a threat to corporate interests that he was lynched by company thugs for decry attempts at strike breaking. Police and government officials not only turned a blind eye to his murder, they later used his words and actions to justify a campaign to scapegoat and persecute other members of the IWW. Always on Strike chronicles and critically engages with Little’s exploits in hopes of exposing a new generation of radicals to his life, legacy and politics. Learn More
  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. Direct Action & Sabotage

    Direct Action & Sabotage


    Three Classic IWW Pamphlets From The 1910s

    by Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, Walker C. Smith & William E. Trautman

    These IWW pamphlets from the 1910s are reprinted here to reaffirm the IWW spirit of rank-and-file initiative and solidarity at a time when direct-action tactics are again stimulating debate. Action on the part of indigenous peoples throughout the world, anti-racists, environmental groups such as Earth First!, animal rights activists, the homeless, computer hackers, pirate radio broadcasters, as well as self-organization by rank-and-file workers and community struggles for self-determination are again challenging us to rethink these tactics.

    'Direct Action & Sabotage' (1912) by William Trautman, 'Sabotage: It's History, Philosophy And Function' (1913) by Walker Smith, and Elizabeth Gurley Flynn's 'Sabotage: The Conscious Withdrawal Of The Workers' Industrial Efficiency' (1916), edited, and with an introduction by Salvatore Salerno. 'The activist authors of the text s in this collection challenged the prevailing stereotype....As they point out, the practice of direct action, and of sabotage, are as old as class society itself, and have been an integral part of the everyday worklife of wage-earners in all times and places. To the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) belongs the distinction of being the first workers' organization in the US to discuss these common practices openly, and to recognize their place in working class struggle. View direct action and sabotage in the spirit of creative nonviolence, Wobblies readily integrated these tactics into their struggle to build industrial unions.' [From the Introduction]


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

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


    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. 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
  6. 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
  7. 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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  8. 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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  9. Radical Works for Rebel Workers: Best of the IW 2015

    Radical Works for Rebel Workers: Best of the IW 2015


    Radical Works for Rebel Workers is a hand-picked collection of contemporary writing and imagery from a diverse crowd for the annual Working Writers Contest of the IWW. This Bilingual booklet features 10 contemporary works dealing with sexism, organizing, labor history and how to be a lifelong wobbly. Get two, and remember: IWW literature is better shared with a fellow worker! Learn More
  10. Rebel Voices: An IWW Anthology

    Rebel Voices: An IWW Anthology


    This new edition of a classic is by far the biggest and best source on IWW history, fiction, songs, art, and lore. Learn More

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