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Sioux Falls Free Thinkers endorse Joe Hill for showing us how to
become members of the revoluntionary workingclass counterculture.

Joe Hill
The IWW & the Making of a
Revolutionary Workingclass Counterculture

Joe Hill by Franklin Rosemont (2003) - 639 pages
Joe Hill at Amazon.com

"Whatever you do, don't try to overthrow the 'System' alone."

"I have always tried to do the little that I could to
advance Freedom's Banner a little closer to its goal."

"Don't waste any time mourning - Organize!"

Joe Hill (1877-1915) is the best-known figure in the heroic history of the Industrial Workers of the World (a.k.a. Wobblies). U.S. labor's most world-renowned martyr and celebrated songwriter, he is remembered above all for his songs in the Little Red Song Book: "The Preacher and the Slave" ("Pie in the Sky"), "Mr Block," "There is Power in a Union," and many more that are still popular on picket lines today.

Franklin Rosemont's important new book presents a fresh and in-dept study of the life and work of the famous Wobbly bard, and of the revolutionary counterculture he came to personify. Older books on Hill focused on the crime he didn't commit, his frame-up and martyrdom. This study sheds new light on those topics - particularly on the ongoing use of frame-up in the U.S. "justice" system - but its overall focus is on Hill's ideas and activity: as songwriter, poet, artist, hobo, thinker, humorist, and archetypal rank-and-file Wobbly. No other book discusses in such detail Hill's view on capitalism, white supremacy, gender issues, religion, wilderness, law, and prison, as well as on songwriting, humor, direct action, and revolutionary industrial unionism. Several chapters explore Hill's little-known work as a cartoonist. Collected here for the first time is all his art, including his one surviving painting. The scores of other illustrations feature Hill-inspired art by IWWs from Ralph Chaplin to Carlos Cortez, and by such other labor artists as Mike Alewitz, Gary Huck, Mike Konopacki, and Lisa Lyons.

Examining Hill's status as "near-mythic" figure in history as well as his enormous influence - on Wob artists; other radicals, songwriters, and poets; on movements as varied as the 1910s "Chicago Renaissance" and the 1950s Beat Generation - Rosemont also examines the many appearances by Hill and the IWW in popular culture, including mass-market mysteries, science-fiction, and rock'n'roll. In chapters on "The Hobo Contribution to Critical Theory," "Wobblies Against Whiteness," "Forerunners of Earth First! and Eco-Socialism," and "Surrealism, Wobbly Style" he argues that Hill's legacy - the profound but playful old-time Wobbly counterculture - is still the "most important inspiration and model for a new revolutionary movement" today.

Franklin Rosemont's nearly thirty books include T-Bone Slim: Juice is Stranger Than Fiction, and From Bughouse Square to the Beat Generations: Selected Ravings of Slim Brundage, both published by Charles H. Kerr, and Penelope: A Poem (Surrealist Editions).

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Joe Hill
The IWW & the Making of a
Revolutionary Workingclass Counterculture

Sioux Falls Free Thinkers endorse Joe Hill for showing us how to
become members of the revoluntionary workingclass counterculture.