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Solidarity Forever

Solidarity Forever

An Oral History of the IWW

Stewart Bird (Editor), Dan Georgakas (Editor), and Deborah Shaffer (Editor)

  • Publisher: Lake View Press
  • Format: Book
  • Binding: pb
  • Pages: 247
  • Released: Jan 9, 1985
  • ISBN-13: 9780941702126


The standard of living for most working Americans was grim when the IWW was founded in 1905. Wages were low, housing squalid, civil liberties limited, safety regulations nonexistent, and job security tenuous. Employers routinely denied their workers the right to unionize, much less to strike or picket. Few major labor disputes ended without death playing a hand.

In Solidarity Forever, a score of IWWs tell how they fought against these injustices while advocating a new economic system in which production would be geared for the public good rather than for private profit.

They speak at length of the life and culture of a modern working class during its formative years, often touching on historic labor struggles as well asÊ more humble local conflicts. Told with vigor and humor, these firsthand accounts attest to the IWW passion for mass education, popular culture, and grass roots democracy, and they reveal an IWW far more ideologically sophisticated than is generally acknowledged.

Historical essays preface these personal stories and place them in the context of the IWW commitment to civil liberties, women's rights, organizing the unorganized, and racial equality. With historical introductions to each section by labor historian Dan Georgakas, co-editor of the monumental Encyclopedia of the American Left

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