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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. 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. I.W.W. Songs to Fan the Flames of Discontent: A Facsimile Reprint of the Nineteenth Edition (1923) of the "Little Red Song Book"

    I.W.W. Songs to Fan the Flames of Discontent: A Facsimile Reprint of the Nineteenth Edition (1923) of the "Little Red Song Book"


    Undoubtedly the most popular book in American labor history, the I.W.W.’s Little Red Song Book has been a staple item on picket lines and at other workers’ gatherings for generations, and has gone through numerous editions. The steadily mounting interest in Wobbly history and culture warrants this facsimile edition of a classic Little Red Song Book from the union’s Golden Age. Reprinted here is the Nineteenth Edition, originally issued in 1923, the year the I.W.W. reached its peak membership. Of the fifty-two songs in this book, the overwhelming majority have not been included in the I.W.W.’s own songbooks for many years. Here are such classics as Joe Hill’s “John Golden and the Lawrence Strike,” “We Will Sing One Song,” “Scissor Bill,” “The Tramp,” and others; T-Bone Slim’s “I’m Too Old to Be a Scab,” “Mysteries of a Hobo’s Life,” “I Wanna Free Miss Liberty,” and others; Ralph Chaplin’s “All Hell Can’t Stop Us,” “Up from Your Knees,” “May Day Song,” and more; and other songs by C.G. Allen, Richard Brazier, Pat Brennan, James Connolly, Laura Payne Emerson, and many others. Learn More
  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. 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. 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
  10. 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

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