Rebel Voices: An IWW Anthology

Overview

The Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), commonly known as the Wobblies, were among the most well-respected and largest unions in the United States in the early 20th century. Having organized the first major automobile industry strike as well as major coalfield and transit workers strikes, the IWW has a history of being a fierce advocate for the worker. Long before most other unions, IWW welcomed women, African-Americans, and immigrants into their ranks, making the Wobblies among the most progressive ...

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Overview

The Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), commonly known as the Wobblies, were among the most well-respected and largest unions in the United States in the early 20th century. Having organized the first major automobile industry strike as well as major coalfield and transit workers strikes, the IWW has a history of being a fierce advocate for the worker. Long before most other unions, IWW welcomed women, African-Americans, and immigrants into their ranks, making the Wobblies among the most progressive organizations of the era. As the only comprehensive history of the IWW, this chronicle anthologizes nearly every important document and essay in the Wobblies' rich history. The impact of the IWW has reverberated through the history of unions and organized labor, and this is their story.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“Not even the doughtiest of capitalism's defenders can read these pages without understanding how much glory and nobility there was in the IWW story, and how much shame for the nation that treated the Wobblies so shabbily.”  —New York Times Book Review

“The IWW blazed a path in industrial history, and its influence is still felt today. Joyce Kornbluh has performed a valuable service to unionism by compiling this comprehensive anthology on the more militant side of labor history.”  —Southwest Labor

"Rebel Voices is a fine collection of original source material written by IWW members themselves." —Labor Studies Journal (January 2013)

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The KSW surfaced as a response to the mid-1980s closing of the David Thompson University Centre in Nelson, British Columbia. Since the 19th century--when the Doukhobors, a Russian radical spiritualist sect, settled there--the city has had a reputation for progressive, even utopian, attitudes, as the informative introduction by the poet-editors recounts. Founded by writers such as Gary Whitehead, Calvin Wharton and Jeff Derksen, who has since become an important Canadian poet and critic, the school forged early, however troubled, ties with radical labor movements in Vancouver, most notably with the Wobblies (see FYI below). The writers themselves found inspiration in the New American poetics of the '60s (and its Canadian counterparts), but later made a turn toward Language writing techniques, though always refusing to assimilate into any sort of literary or academic culture ("school" or no). This anthology is the first devoted to the group. Highlights include Gerald Greene's intricate, long poem "Resume"; Peter Culley's elegant social-pastorals such as "Winterreise"; the bracket-within-brackets section of Kevin Davies's book Pause Button; Kathryn Mcleod's technically dazzling public meditations, like "The Infatuation"; Dan Farrell's "Thimking of You," a psycho-puzzle of nouns and verbs; Dorothy Trujillo Lusk's sand-blasting "Oral Tragedy," along with excellent work by Lisa Robertson (Xeclogue; Forecasts, Mar. 6) and Derksen (Downtime; Dwell). Whether the poems succeed in rearticulating and rendering visible the toxicities of class relations in a manner that can be taken up by the culture-at-large is a matter for debate. But more than any anthology of American poetry produced in the States recently, this book fulfills the promise of Donald Allen's seminal New American Poetry, bringing an unacknowledged and masterful group of subversive works into the light. (Apr.) FYI: Back in print this month, Joyce Kornbluh's Rebel Voices: An IWW Anthology, originally published in 1964, makes for a terrific introduction to the Industrial Workers of the World (the Wobblies) and their activities, collecting missives, cartoons, manifestoes, songs, poems, photos, dispatches and other documents. (Charles H. Kerr, $24 464p ISBN 0-88286-237-5). Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781604864830
  • Publisher: PM Press
  • Publication date: 9/1/2011
  • Edition description: Third edition
  • Pages: 464
  • Sales rank: 754,986
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 3.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Joyce L. Kornbluh is a community activist and a labor historian, who has retired from the Labor Studies Center, University of Michigan. She is the author of A New Deal for Worker's Education and the coauthor of Rocking the Boat. She lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Fred Thompson was a publisher with Charles H. Kerr. Franklin Rosemont was a poet, an artist, a historian, a street speaker, the cofounder of the Chicago Surrealist Group, and a publisher at Charles H. Kerr. Daniel Gross is an organizer with the Industrial Workers of the World and a cofounder of the first union in the United States at the Starbucks Coffee Co. He is also the founding director of Brandworkers International, a nonprofit organization protecting and advancing the rights of retail and food employees. He lives in New York City.

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