Joe Hill. The IWW and the Making of a Revolutionary Working Class Counterculture F RANKLIN R OSEMONT Chicago: Charles H. Kerr, 2003 Reviewed by L OREN G OLDNER Franklin Rosemont’s Joe Hill is in many ways a beautiful book. In these days of war without end in the Middle East and visible ‘politics’ in the US seemingly reduced to a right-wing party and a far-right party, the book gives me a high that makes me want to run out the door and organise. I feel like a curmudgeon criticising it in any serious way. The book is above all important for a new generation of activists trying to situate itself in the rubble bequeathed by the twentieth-century bureaucratic-statist ‘Left’ (social-democratic, Stalinist, Third-Worldist, Trotskyist) and the latter ’s wooden ideologies. There’s something breathtaking and exhilarating about a book that gets Hill and the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) into the same narrative with Apollinaire, Artaud, Franz von Baader, Basho, Blake, Bosch, Lester Bowie, Byron, Duerer, Victor Hugo, Bob Kaufman, Philip Lamantia, Man Ray, Thelonious Monk, Gérard de Nerval, Charlie Parker, Erik Satie, Shelley, Vico and Hoene Wronski, to give the reader just a faint whiff of its breadth.
Historical Materialism – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2006
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