As Green thoroughly documents, the bloody Haymarket riot of May 4, 1886, changed the history of American labor and created a panic among Americans about (often foreign-born) "radicals and reformers" and union activists. The Haymarket demonstration, to protest police brutality during labor unrest in Chicago, remained peaceful until police moved in, whereupon a bomb was thrown by an individual never positively identified, killing seven policemen and wounding 60 others. Shortly after, labor leaders August Spies and Albert Parsons, along with six more alleged anarchists, stood convicted of murder on sparse evidence. Four of them went to the gallows in 1887; another committed suicide. The surviving three received pardons in 1893. The Knights of Labor, at that time America's largest and most energetic union, received the blame for the riot, despite a lack of conclusive evidence , and many Knights locals migrated to the less radical American Federation of Labor. Labor historian Green (Taking History to Heart) eloquently chronicles all this, producing what will surely be the definitive word on the Haymarket affair for this generation. Green is particularly strong in documenting the episode's long aftermath, especially the decades-long efforts of the white Parsons's black wife to exonerate her husband. B&w illus. (Mar. 7)
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Green, an academic, offers a narrative history of Chicago's Haymarket bombing in 1886, the infamous trial that followed, and the hanging of subsequently determined innocent men. Chicago was then at the heart of the labor struggle for the eight-hour day, and we learn that "workers' struggles had often been met with shocking repression, and that when violence bred violence, when powerless laboring people struck back in anger, they often paid with their lives." The Haymarket episode became a seminal moment for the American labor movement, and Green takes us inside the personal, social, and cultural elements of this tragic event. Evaluation of Haymarket includes the contention that a conservative bias against radicals, labor organizers, immigrants, and minorities was fundamental to the conflict as well as the view that execution of the anarchists saved the country from anarchy and was a moral and political victory for law and order. The author notes that after Haymarket, social peace among the various classes in Chicago was impossible, and grudges continued for decades. Mary Whaley
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
This is a nice, detailed overview of the Haymarket Square bombing and its historical impact. This book probably won't appeal to all - it takes a long time to get to the actual... Read morePublished 18 days ago by Thomas North
Author sets the context well. Provides an overload of detail throughout. Very worthwhile wrap up at the end.Published 1 month ago by jimbo531
Excellant on the long pre-history of the Haymarket events. Great labor history!Published 4 months ago by Christine R.Long
A very good read on the eight hour movement, the anarchists, the Haymarket bomb and its aftermath. I could not keep the book down.Published 8 months ago by Gusrp
The tragic events of May 4, 1886 and in the Haymarket in Chicago and the aftermath of those events have left more questions than answers for historians. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Jeff Miller
This book was excellent at bringing to life an incident I knew little about: the Haymarket bombing in 1886. My love of history has centered on wars, diplomacy and technology. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Roger B. White Jr.
A well written book. I would recommend this to anyone who is interested in the history of labor in the US
I have disagreements with anarchist philosophy. Read more
This book is a good account, written in a competent style, of the Haymarket case and the labor wars in Chicago in the 19th century. Read morePublished 23 months ago by J. Michael