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Joe Hill Paperback – November 1, 1969
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"Joe Hill became symbollic of the kind of individual sacrifice that would make a revolutionary new society possible. Thus labor radicals, communists, and novelists and playwrights such as John Dos Passos, Wallace Stegner, and Barrie Stavis used the circumstances of Hill's convictions and manner of his death to create a legend that transformed 'just another forgotten migrant worker' into 'The Man Who Never Died," as the song which Paul Robeson enthralled audiences in the 1930s and 1940s had it . . . Gibbs Smith has served us well be recapturing the memory of a man whose songs, to quote another wobbly, evoked the spirit of radicals who were the 'very epitome of guts and gallantry,' a handful of homeless heroes touched by true romance. Men and women whose spirits were stirred far above their belly-need; men and women inspired by visions of heaven on earth. Now, as then, society needs such men and women."
--Melvyn Dubofsky, The New York Times Book Review
Top Customer Reviews
The `Acknowledgments' list the people who helped in this work. Gibbs M. Smith thanks his wife Catherine. This was published by the University of Utah Press. It has a Table of Contents, Bibliography, and Index. `Appendix A' has a "Joe Hill song checklist". `Appendix B' has two letters from Joe Hill.. The `Introduction' by Joyce Kornbluh compares the IWW in the WW I era to the civil rights and protest movements in the 1960s. People still have a "dread of war and the fear of want" in our society (p.1). The IWW tried to organize workers in industrial unions instead of craft-based unions; it was formed in 1905 Chicago (p.2). The former Knights of Labor also organized all workers. Machinery and technology were reducing the need for skilled craftsmen. All workers had to organize to compete with corporations that had political power.
Page 3 has the 5 points of the IWW. "Human life and happiness must replace ... the rights of property". [Was that too much of an ideal?] They were against "political action" since many since many workers were not allowed to vote (p.5). The IWW hoped a general strike would lead to a peaceful revolution (p.6). Rising prices, stagnant wages, depressions an unemployment resulted in discontent (p.7). IWW members read in public libraries about economics (p.9). The IWW songbook was a way to educate listeners. Free speech fights resulted when IWW members spoke about job conditions. They were attacked with "needless brutality" (p.10). The IWW supported striking textile workers in Lawrence Mass and Paterson NJ. The IWW was anti-militaristic (p.11), and for "international solidarity". This led to calls for killing IWW members (p.12).Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Joe Hill, by Gibbs M. Smith
The `Acknowledgments' list the people who helped in this work. Gibbs M. Smith thanks his wife Catherine. Read more
This was a christmas present for my son. He really liked it. He heard about Joe Hill at a Joan Baez concert, and wanted to know more about him.Published on January 11, 2007 by Frieda N. Burdette
One of my friends, a Yale student, was reading this during a trip and I picked it up mostly out of boredom, then pratically made myself car sick finishing it on the bus. Read morePublished on January 26, 2005 by Emmalee