The Third International after Lenin

Friday, September 2, 2011

Товарищ Х: Joe Hill remembered: "The Man Who Never Died" book signing, etc.

Товарищ Х will be there and he says, "быть там, или быть квадратной" ("be there, or be square").



William Adler, author of The Man Who Never Died: The Life, Times and Legacy of Joe Hill, American Labor Icon (Bloomsbury, 2011) will be at Mac's to discuss the book. He will be joined by Deborah Van Kleef, a folksinger whose own songs belong to the great tradition fostered by Joe Hill and Woody Guthrie.

In 1914, Joe Hill was convicted of murder in Utah and sentenced to death by firing squad, igniting international controversy. Many believed Hill was innocent, condemned for his association with the Industrial Workers of the World-the radical Wobblies. Now, following four years of intensive investigation, William M. Adler gives us the first full-scale biography of Joe Hill, and presents never before published documentary evidence that comes as close as one can to definitively exonerating him.

Hill's gripping tale is set against a brief but electrifying moment in American history, between the century's turn and World War I, when the call for industrial unionism struck a deep chord among disenfranchised workers; when class warfare raged and capitalism was on the run. Hill was the union's preeminent songwriter, and in death, he became organized labor's most venerated martyr, celebrated by Woody Guthrie and Bob Dylan, and immortalized in the ballad "I Dreamed I Saw Joe Hill Last Night."

"The Man Who Never Died" does justice to Hill's extraordinary life and its controversial end. Drawing on extensive new evidence, Adler deconstructs the case against his subject and argues convincingly for the guilt of another man. Reading like a murder mystery, and set against the background of the raw, turn-of-the-century West, this essential American story will make news and expose the roots of critical contemporary issues.

William M. Adler is a freelance writer who has contributed to numerous publications, including Esquire, Rolling Stone, Mother Jones, Texas Monthly, and the Texas Observer. He is the author of Land of Opportunity, about the rise and fall of a crack cocaine empire, and Mollie's Job, following the flight of one woman's factory job from the U.S. to Mexico. Adler lives with his wife and son in Denver, Colorado.

Deborah Van Kleef has performed her brand of rootsy rustbelt folk music for over 20 years, at concerts, festivals, coffeehouses, schools, rallies, conferences and special events. Her song, “The Great Fast Food Strike,” was performed by Pete Seeger at the Carnegie Hall concert for the 50th anniversary of Folkways Records. She and the song were featured on the documentary, “Woody Guthrie: Hard Travelin’,” which aired on over 160 public radio stations across the U.S.

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