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Murdered by Capitalism: A Memoir of 150 Years of Life and Death on the American Left (Nation Books) Paperback – May 27, 2004
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E. B. "Eddie" Schnaubelt was murdered by capitalism in 1913. That's what it says on his grave stone in Trinidad, California. He tells Ross how he came to California from Chicago, on the lam from the police roundup that followed the Haymarket bombing in 1886. He insists that neither he nor his brother Rudolph was the bomb thrower.
When Schnaubelt clams up on him, Ross descends into hell to interview President McKinley, then proceeds to a boneyard outside Chicago to chat up the remains of the Haymarket martyrs. Emma Goldman, Big Bill Haywood, Joe Hill, Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, Sacco and Vanzetti, William Z. Foster, and others join the conversation, discussing the pros and cons of communism and other isms. It makes for a lively discussion and even stirs the bones of Senator Joe McCarthy, who butts in all the way from Wisconsin!
John Ross is a long-time radical, beat poet, and freelance foreign correspondent. His book is a zany and raucous historical memoir of epic proportions. It often lapses into poetic imagery. It is pugnacious and outrageous at times, and always unequivocally on the side of working people against their capitalist tormenters. But it is not non-violent. There is even a warning on the cover that "This book contains graphic scenes of revolutionary violence." Ross condones that violence--if it comes from the Left. But otherwise, a good read.
Feeling that bombing is a central aspect of the American psyche, Ross reviles the government`s bombing campaigns, and tries to separate good bombs from bad bombs: ``In America, the bombs come in all flavors -- racist bombs, revolutionary communist bombs, union bombs, Capitalist bombs, criminal bombs, and just plain old grudge bombs.``
I enjoyed the banter of semi-sane idealists over the past 7 or 8 generations. But in terms of the means etc., I had some difficulty separating one bomber from the next.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Murdered by Capitalism is both fun and instructive. John pulls no punches. Though a life-long advocate of social justice and the oppressed -- firmly on the side of all... Read morePublished on February 21, 2011 by Carol L. Hopkins
...who had written the brilliant novel *Unintended Consequences*, and whose political morality is diametrically opposed to that of "...the American Left."
Amazon. Read more
The most frustrating charachteristic of this book is its likeability. It reads like tour-guide patter on a comfortable bus trip through the landscape of the American far left over... Read morePublished on January 1, 2006 by Donald A. Lash
An outstandingly outrageous autobiography intertwined with truthfully tragic American history as seen from the left. Read morePublished on November 22, 2005 by John Grimsrud