Joe Hill (1)
The IWW and the Making of a Revolutionary Workingclass Counterculture
By Franklin Rosemont
Introduction by David Roediger
PM Press/Charles H. Kerr Publishing
A monumental work, expansive in scope, covering the life, times, and culture of that most famous of the Wobblies—songwriter, poet, hobo, thinker, humorist, martyr—Joe Hill. It is a journey into the Wobbly culture that made Hill and the capitalist culture that killed him. Many aspects of the life and lore of Joe Hill receive their first and only discussion in IWW historian Franklin Rosemont’s opus.
In great detail, the issues that Joe Hill raised and grappled with in his life: capitalism, white supremacy, gender, religion, wilderness, law, prison, and industrial unionism are shown in both the context of Hill’s life and for their enduring relevance in the century since his death.
Collected too is Joe Hill’s art, plus scores of other images featuring Hill-inspired art by IWW illustrators from Ralph Chaplin to Carlos Cortez, as well as contributions from many other labor artists.
As Rosemont suggests in this remarkable book, Joe Hill never really died. He lives in the minds of young (and old) rebels as long as his songs are sung, his ideas are circulated, and his political descendants keep fighting for a better day.
“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, musician, Starlight on the Rails
“In these 600-plus pages there is not one bit of tedious reading. This is an important book.”—Industrial Worker
“Joe Hill has finally found a chronicler worthy of his revolutionary spirit, sense of humor, and poetic imagination.”—Robin D.G. Kelley, author of Hammer and Hoe
“It has been a long time since so much new material on Joe Hill and the Wobblies has been collected in one volume. All students of the IWW, labor cartoons and songs, radical humor, and the history of blue-collar countercultures in the U.S. will find this book indispensable.”—Salvatore Salerno, editor of The Big Red Songbook
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