Wobblies of the World


A history of the global nature of the radical union, The Industrial Workers of the World

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A Global History of the IWW

Edited by Peter Cole, David Struthers, Kenyon Zimmer
Pluto Press

The Industrial Workers of the World is a union unlike any other. Founded in 1905 in Chicago, it rapidly gained members across the world thanks to its revolutionary, internationalist outlook. By using powerful organizing methods including direct-action and direct-democracy, it put power in the hands of workers. This philosophy is labeled as ‘revolutionary industrial unionism’ and the members called, affectionately, ‘Wobblies’.

This book is the first to look at the history of the IWW from an international perspective. Bringing together a group of leading scholars, it includes lively accounts from a number diverse countries including Australia, Canada, Mexico, South Africa, Sweden, and Ireland, which reveal a fascinating story of global anarchism, syndicalism and socialism.

Drawing on many important figures of the movements such as Tom Barker, Har Dayal, Joe Hill, James Larkin and William D. “Big Bill” Haywood, and exploring particular industries including shipping, mining, and agriculture, this book describes how the IWW and its ideals travelled around the world.

Read our Industrial Worker interview with Peter Cole discussing the book and its upcoming rerelease as a French translation HERE

Purchase the French translation HERE

“A splendid project and a vitally important contribution to the understanding of labor as a social movement.”—Paul Buhle, author of Marxism in the United States

“As a second-generation member of the IWW, I am delighted to see this outstanding collection of essays on the Wobblies, their achievements, and their substantial impact despite severe repression.”—Noam Chomsky, co-author of Consequences of Capitalism

Additional information

Weight 17.2 oz
Dimensions 9 × 6 × 1 in



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