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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. Beyond The Rebel Girl

    Beyond The Rebel Girl


    Women within the Industrial Workers of the World and outside that shared solidarity from 1905-1924 in the Pacific Northwest and their influence on generations of struggles for birth control, sexual liberation, labor equity, etc. Learn More
  3. 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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  4. 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
  5. Dancin' in the Streets

    Dancin' in the Streets


    Anarchists, Surrealists, Situationists & Provos in the 1960s as recorded In the pages of Rebel Worker & Heat Wave

    Edited with Introductions by Franklin Rosemont and Charles Radcliffe

    Most books on the 1960s focus on large liberal organizations and reformist politics. This one is unabashedly devoted to the far left of the far left. The Rebel Worker was a mimeo'd magazine started by young members of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) in Chicago, 1964.

    While square critics derided them as 'the left wing of the Beat Generation,' The Rebel Worker and its sister journal Heatwave in London became well known for their highly original revolutionaryperspective, innovative social/cultural criticism, and uninhibited class-war humor. Rejecting traditional left dogma, and proudly affirming the influence of Bugs Bunny and the Incredible Hulk, these playful rebels against work expanded the critique of Capital into a critique of daily life and developed a truly radical theory and practice, rooted in poetry, provocation, blues, jazz and the pleasure principle. Active in strikes, free-speech fights and other tumults, they also introduced countless readers to writings by surrealists, situationists, IWWs, anarchists, libertarian Marxists, Provos, Japanese Zengakuren, etc.

    Here for the first time in book-form are dozens of selections from both of these legendary journals, with introductions: Franklin Rosemont (editor of The Rebel Worker) and Charles Radcliffe (editor of Heatwave).

    'Look here for links between the Beat Generation 'Mimeo Revolution' and the later Underground Press, but also between traditional Marxist theory and the new 'critique of everyday life' developed by an increasingly defiant and countercultural young left that made Martha and the Vandellas' 'Dancin' in the Streets 'its international anthem.'
    --Paul Buhle
    'The dreamkillers won't have finished working over the 1960s until they flatten the soaring visions of that decade into petty quarrels between vanguardists and aspiring Democratic Party functionaries. They won't be done until they turn the movement into one without humor, without poetry, and indeed almost without motion. But dreamkilling just got lots harder. This brilliant collection gives us back the audacity, imagination, energy, laughs, wildness and chance that animated freedom dreams that are as alive today as they were 40 years ago.'
    --David Roediger


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  6. 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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  7. IWW Literature Bundle

    IWW Literature Bundle


    A bundle of 6 works about the Industrial Workers of the World, including: -The Industrial Workers of the World: Its First 100 Years -One Big Union -The Union on our Own Terms -Think It Over -The Little Red Song Book - 38th Edition -The most recent edition of the quarterly Industrial Worker magazine Purchased individually, these items would add up to $31 Learn More
  8. 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
  9. 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
  10. 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

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