Joe Hill


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The IWW and the Making of a Revolutionary Workingclass Counterculture

By Franklin Rosemont
Charles H. Kerr Publishing

JOE HILL (1877-1915) is the best-known figure in the heroic history of the Industrial 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

Additional information

Weight 30.9 oz
Dimensions 8.5 × 5.5 × 1.5 in


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