Labour Martyr: Joe Hill

Smith, Gibbs M
Publisher:  J. McLeod Ltd.
Year Published:  1972  
Pages:  286pp   Price:  $7.95  
Resource Type:  Book
Cx Number:  CX8398

The story of the rebel songwriter and union activst Joe Hill, who was murdered by the state of Utah in 1915.

Abstract:  Joe Hill, songwriter, union activist and a member of the Indudtrial Workers of the World (or Wobblies as the members were called) was killed by firing squad in Utah in 1915 for the murder of a Salt Lake City shopkeeper. Gibbs' book while not taking a position on whether Joe was guity or innocent does extenisve research into the fairness of the trial. He does chart the emotional feeling present in of Salt Lake City and its hatred of the revolutionary IWW. There is not much historical data on the IWW as the U.S Department of Justice destroyed most writings during massive raids in 1917. The strength of the book is the chronicling of Joe Hill's music -- "songs to fan the flames of dicscontent" and its influence at the time and its continuing influence on the left today. The songs are still published in the IWW's Little Red Songbook. To this day they are considered a lesson in organizing techiques.

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