Iron in Her Soul


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Elizabeth Gurley Flynn and the American Left

by Helen C. Camp

In 1906, speaking from a homemade soapbox near Times Square, 16-year-old Elizabeth Gurley Flynn stopped traffic on a Saturday night. Broadway producer David Belasco became so impressed he wanted to put her on stage. But she told him, ‘I’m in the labor movement and I speak my own piece.’ And for more than 50 years this fiery American radical truly did speak her own piece, crossing and recrossing the United States, crusading for her brand of humane socialism. As the only woman leader of the Industrial Workers of the World she organized immigrant factory workers in the East, iron ore miners on Minnesota’s Mesabi Range, and lumberjacks in the Northwest. She became a founding member of the American Civil Liberties Union; joined the American Communist Party and in 1961 became the first woman to chair the party. Arrested more than a dozen times for exercising her right to free speech, she was a natural victim of McCarthyism, serving a three-year prison sentence in the 1950s. After more than a decade of research, Helen C. Camp has produced the first full-length biography of the most notable American radical of the twentieth century.

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Weight 1.58 oz


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