- Paperback: 236 pages
- Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan; 2011 edition (September 26, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0230120776
- ISBN-13: 978-0230120778
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 10.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 9 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #957,032 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Trial of the Haymarket Anarchists: Terrorism and Justice in the Gilded Age 2011th Edition
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*Winner of the Best Book award from Labor History*
"In The Trial of the Haymarket Anarchists, Timothy Messer-Kruse rewrites the Haymarket trial's legacy. He provides well-written, counter-arguments for historians to consider." Journal of Illinois History
'Messer-Kruse chronicles Chicago's underground network of anarchists sensational stories, ripe for a Hollywood movie.' Time Out Chicago
"Messer-Kruse's greatest discovery: 'Textbooks ignore the transcript and say the trial was unfair. But if you judge it by standards of its day, it was (fair). In those days, you were convicted by testimony, not fingerprints and DNA. They had 162 witnesses and a lot of he said/she said. But then, that's what a trial was." The Chicago Tribune
'Desiring to present a more complete and nuanced telling of this monumental event in US history, Messer-Kruse will undoubtedly ruffle many academic feathers with his revisionism. Clearly written and impressively researched, this text will spark conversation among historians and those interested in US labor history. Highly recommended.' CHOICE
'Messer-Kruse chronicles Chicago's underground network of anarchists sensational stories, ripe for a Hollywood movie.' Time Out Chicago 'Drawing on his meticulous research, Timothy Messer-Kruse raises provocative questions about a momentous event that scholars thought we understood. He shows that history is in the details, from the chemical makeup of a bomb fragment to the exact moment when a man boarded a streetcar. The Trial of the Haymarket Anarchists challenges us to set aside preconceptions, read sources carefully, and challenge prevailing assumptions. How do we reconcile conflicting points of view, and how do we place the minutiae of courtroom records in broader context? Messer-Kruse offers persuasive insights into how various actors in the Haymarket violence saw themselves, and what it all meant for labor, politics, and ideology in industrializing America.' Rebecca Edwards, Vassar College, author of New Spirits: Americans in the 'Gilded Age,' 1865-1905
'Timothy Messer-Kruse's study extends earlier challenges by Paul Avrich to the generally iconic treatment of the Haymarket 'martyrs' and their martyrdom. It explicitly and directly explodes assumptions about the anarchists in the labor movement and their alleged innocence in the use of dynamite. Whatever the purposes, his subjects emerge sharply and credibly not as victimized leaders of an eight-hour movement but as genuine anarchists attempting to seize and direct the course of history.' Mark Lause, Associate Professor, Department of History, University of Cincinnati
About the Author
T. MESSER-KRUSE Interim Vice-Provost for Academic Programs and Dean of the Graduate College at Bowling Green State University, USA. He is the author of The Yankee International: Marxism and the American Reform Tradition among other books.
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Instead, the author goes back to the trial record, the original news articles, the known facts and sets the stage with the rules, ethics and morals of the time in which this occurred. In doing so he has split the issue into the three basic components: The Cause, The Method and The Times. He also approaches the subject with no political agenda of his own; something that most other writers are unable to do. The author's journey started with an innocuous question from a student; "If these people were so clearly railroaded, what were they talking about for six weeks in the trial?" Having taught the traditional labor view of the Haymarket Massacre, he was intrigued by the question. In pursuing an authors curiosity, what he discovered was far from the accepted version of history.
This is a fascinating read, a real journey into a time of revolution and almost-Civil War. It does not resolve who's cause was right, and that wasn't the goal. What it does do, is put this seminal moment in history in it's proper perspective, from which a more neutral view of history can be seen. The writing is stylish and interesting in the way the author juxtaposes our current judgements with accepted legal practices of the time. Where they right? Did they get a fair trial? Were they innocent? This book moves us closer to the truth and an understanding of what was, not what we think should have been.
If you are interested in this period or the labor movement of America, this book is an essential read. A great addition to historical knowledge and accuracy.
The author effectively debunks the myth that the Haymarket trial was a show trial and answers the question he initially posed about what they talked about for six weeks. I can't wait to read the other parts of the trilogy.
I also found the analysis of the legal components of the trial to be fascinating. There are elements of both "look how far we've come" and "look how far we've yet to go." I was also surprised at how poorly the anarchists' lawyers performed. The state didn't win so much as the anarchists lost.
One complaint: the author does an extensive amount of work in the end notes, sometimes to the detriment of the text. The kindle version made this less of a burden, but all readers should consider occasionally checking the end notes for the rest of the story.
I would recommend this book to lawyers, history buffs, and anyone who wonders what they talked about at a six-week-long show trial.
As they say about thrillers (of which I am a fan), one could not put this book down. Messer-Kruse brings forth the actual trial transcript rather than the left-wing reader's digest version. In doing this he reveals the strength of the government's case, the fairness of the judge within the context of the late 19th Century trial system, and brings forth the truth about the anarchists advocacy of guns, dynamite, and violence.
For anyone interested in the true story and not the Howard Zinn/Paul Avrich/Peter Green version - please read this book and you will develop, if you don't have one already, a critical mind that at will question the often abridged and distorted views of history by writers with an agenda. Cantor Bob Cohen
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First, most fundamentally, Messer-Kruse pulls back 100 years of myth and legend and reveals the true story...Read more