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We Shall Be All: A History of the Industrial Workers of the World (abridged ed.) (The Working Class in American History) ebook

by Joseph A. McCartin,Melvyn Dubofsky

Originally published in 1969, Melvyn Dubofsky's We Shall Be All has remained the definitive .

Originally published in 1969, Melvyn Dubofsky's We Shall Be All has remained the definitive archive-based history of the IW. Melvyn Dubofsky, Distinguished Professor of History at Binghamton University, SUNY, is the author of Hard Work: The Making of Labor History among other books, and coauthor of John L. Lewis: A Biography.

We Shall Be All book. The Working Class in American History (1 - 10 of 94 books). Books by Melvyn Dubofsky.

The present volume, an abridged version of this labor history classic, makes the compelling story of the IW. .

Abridged ed. Champaign, Il. University of Illinois Press, 2000. Dubofsky is a member of the American Historical Association, the Organization of American Historians, and the New York State Labor History Association (where he was vice president from 1978 to 1979, and president from 1979 to 1980).

Packaging should be the same as what is found in a retail store, unless the item is handmade or was packaged by the manufacturer in non-retail . We shall be all. Publisher: University of Illinois Press. Number Of Pages: 312. Width: 153mm. Read full description.

Packaging should be the same as what is found in a retail store, unless the item is handmade or was packaged by the manufacturer in non-retail packaging, such as an unprinted box or plastic bag. See details for additional description.

Published September 11, 2000 by University of Illinois Press.

Joseph A. McCartin, ed. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2000. Labor: Studies in the Working-Class History of the Americas. Solely authored articles. Re-Framing the Crisis of . Labor: Rights, Democracy, and Political Economy. Bringing the State’s Workers In: Time to Rectify an Imbalanced . Labor Historiography. Democratizing the Demand for Workers’ Rights: Toward a Reframing of Labor's Argument.

Melvyn Dubofsky (born October 25, 1934) is professor emeritus of history and .

Melvyn Dubofsky (born October 25, 1934) is professor emeritus of history and sociology, and a well-known labor historian. He is Bartle Distinguished Professor of History and Sociology at the Binghamton University. Dubofsky was appointed an assistant professor of history at Northern Illinois University in 1959. In 1967, Dubofsky took a position as an associate professor of history at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He left that position in 1969. Abridged ed.

This is the classic history of the Industrial Workers of the World, the influential band of labor militants whose activism mobilized America's poorest and most marginalized workers in the years before World War I. Originally published in 1969, Melvyn Dubofsky's We Shall Be All has remained the definitive archive-based history of the IWW. While much has been written on aspects of the IWW's history in the past three decades, nothing has duplicated or surpassed this authoritative work. The present volume, an abridged version of this labor history classic, makes the compelling story of the IWW accessible to a new generation of readers. In its heyday, between 1905 and 1919, the IWW nourished a dream of a better America where poverty-–material and spiritual–-would be erased and where all people, regardless of nationality or color, would walk free and equal. More than half a century ago the Wobblies tried in their own ways to grapple with issues that still plague the nation in a more sophisticated and properous era. Their example has inspired radicals in America and abroad over the greater part of a century  
This is a thorough, detailed, analytic, and critical history of the Wobblies. D. is a competent historian well qualified to tell the story of this most American of radical movements. Many of us met the IWW in the romanticized work of Dos Passos and James Jones' tribute in From Here to Eternity. The story is grim, a revelation of injustice and oppression, especially in the American West (and South).
The Wobblies were anarchic in more than one sense. Disorganization hurt. Haywood was capable. Had he been able to stay in charge...the results would have been different.
One reason for their ultimate failure--the IWW was superseded by the CPUSA, more national--was their Americanism, exemplified in that naive trust in the judicial system which Americans have clung to in the face of substantial evidence to the contrary. Perhaps today, with an unabashedly partisan and political Supreme Court, that view will change. The Wobblies expected nothing from capitalism and justice from the courts. Communists were less American and did not share that view.
Much can yet be learned from this sad story.
(The IWW Hungarian Fund has come [back] to life and produced and excellent calendar for 2015.)
the unabridged is better but this covers the intricacies of the iww's history much better than kornbluh.
Arguably the definitive history of the IWW by a careful historian, rightly esteemed. Other labor historians of this era almost always owe him some debt.
This is a very well written book, almost 500 pages of judicious treatment of the IWW. The author traces the wobblies' very shaky evolution from 1905 to their ultimate decline into oblivion after World War I. Dubofsky is clearly far from unsympathetic to the wobblies but he portrays them with objectivity. It appears from his analysis that the wobblies suffered many times from a fervent devotion to principle at the expense of clear headed analyses of the real-life situations they faced and were full of optimism about their organization's future that was totally unwarranted.

The wobblies had to figure out how to organize deeply impoverished workers, who were divided by race, language, ethnicity, etc. and who had little funds to support the wobblies. They were opposed by almost the entire Socialist Party, which argued that the only proper course for socialists in the labor movement was to try to "bore from within" A.F of L unions and try to elect socialists to political office. Of course, the AF of L itself was violently hostile, offering support to state and employer repression of the wobblies. The A.F of L was filled mostly with white, relatively well paid English speaking craft workers, who tended to disdain the eastern and southern European immigrants, African Americans, migratory lumber workers and others that the IWW targeted for organization. In its early years the organization could barely keep from collapsing as innumerable left wing elements tried to hijack the organization for their own purposes. The Western Federation of Miners(WFM), originally the leading component of the IWW, soon decided that it wished to eschew a radical anti-capitalist course and adopt AF of L style business unionism. The WFM would soon leave the IWW.

But of course, the biggest component hindering IWW operations was state repression. Because the wobblies preached revolution and sabotage, even if, as the author points out, they were non-violent in practice, state authorities had little compunction in arresting wobbly activists on trumped up charges. The large majority of employers still objected to even the moderate unionism of the A.F of L, so they were especially paranoid about a militant union like the wobblies. Wobblies were placed in horrible conditions in jails during the Free Speech fights on the west coast in 1909-1913. They were deprived of adequate food and water, stuffed together in tiny cells, had a fire hose turned on them at full blast for a half hour in their cells, etc. In San Diego wobblies were kidnapped by vigilantes and taken to a deserted place where they were tortured by being beaten while running through gauntlets of vigilantes. Dubofsky quotes California state investigator Harris Weinstock who compared the treatment of the wobblies to the pogroms against Jews in Czarist Russia. In Lawrence Massachusetts, the Mesabi Range in Minnesota and Everett WA, wobblies were arrested on spurious charges of murder but later found not guilty. In Utah, wobbly member Joe Hill was executed for murder even though the murder gun and bullets could not be tied to him. The prosecution convicted Hill mainly by stressing to the jury that he was a member of a subversive organization that preached against capitalism, religion, patriotism, and other sacred things. In Everett WA, in a prelude to the "Everett Massacre" wobblies were taken from the town's jail by vigilantes to a local park where they were stripped naked and forced to run gauntlets of vigilantes who beat them with very hard and sharp objects.

In spite of all these hindrances, a great many industrial workers were ready to join an organization revolting against terrible working and living conditions. Dubofsky notes that among textile workers in Lawrence MA, the infant mortality rate was 172 per 1000 and for the state's textile workforce, respiratory illnesses were fatal 70 percent of the time compared to only 4 percent among Massachusetts's farmers. Meanwhile, in the Mesabi Range in Minnesota, 600 miners suffered serious injuries from 1910 to 1913 while 160 died on the job.

Dubofsky points out that it was labor shortages caused by World War I that allowed the wobblies to have their greatest successes. Of course it was the war that also began the organization's demise. Wobbly strikes in such vital war industries as lumber and copper mining convinced the federal government, to the delight of businessmen everywhere, to repress the wobblies. The organization's leadership was decimated by imprisonment and most of the organization's records were seized by federal authorities and later destroyed. The wobblies were convicted by the government based on their anti-capitalist political opinions, Dubofsky shows. Meanwhile vigilantes lynched wobbly organizer Frank Little in Montana in 1917 and vigilantes in Bisbee Arizona, supported by copper companies and local authorities, forcibly took IWW copper workers from their homes, placed them in cattle cars and deported them into the New Mexico desert. Local authorities tended to act in more crude ways that the federal government, as Dubofsky shows by the example of IWW sympathizer Theodora Pollok. Pollok was forced by Sacramento police to receive a thorough medical exam of the type given to prostitutes, though, of course, she wasn't a prostitute. The Wilson administration vigorously protested Pollok's treatment, for she was from a well connected upper class Maryland family.

Dubofsky does a good job portraying the last years of the IWW as a remotely viable organization, including the episode of the vigilante terror meted out to the organization's Marine Transport Workers Industrial Union. He also discusses the crushing of IWW organizing efforts during the 1927 labor unrest in the Colorado mining industry. (My review refers to the unabridged 1988 edition of the book--the abridged edition may have left out details of the 1920's IWW and other topics that the unabridged editions cover).

This book brings up some fascinating topics relevant for advocates of militant left wing unionism. Such topics include the inability of the wobblies, as they struggled to gain short term bread and butter benefits for their members, to develop a lasting revolutionary culture among the bulk of its members. Another topic and particularly of interest to me is Dubofsky's discussion as to how ideas regarding centralized control versus more autonomous rank and file direction of strike activities played out within the organization.
This book caused a major stir when first released in the 60s. But labor history studies have changed a great deal since that time. The entire orientation of this book is patronizing to the amazing works of the IWW.
For example:
1) It completely ignores the IWW's international aspects, for example that the IWW had more influence in Chile and Australia than in the US and Canada.
2) It glosses over the IWWs activities during the 1920s, the Marine Transport Workers' control of the Wetsern Hemisphere's shipping, longshore workers in North America, the 1927 Colorado Miners' Strike, etc. etc.
3) It has no coherent understanding of why the IWW declined. How FDR worked with Lewis and the CIO to force unionization, the principled stands the IWW took to stop the rise of business unionism, and some buttheadedess by the IWW's membership.
It contains many good stories and is an OK overview. The definitive work is still waiting on the subject.
A great read
Working on my Masters and this book was recommended
We Shall Be All: A History of the Industrial Workers of the World (abridged ed.) (The Working Class in American History) ebook
Joseph A. McCartin,Melvyn Dubofsky
Politics & Government
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University of Illinois Press; Abridged edition (September 11, 2000)
312 pages
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