The Man Who Never Died

The Man Who Never Died : The Life, Times, and Legacy of Joe Hill, American Labor Icon

4.08 (247 ratings by Goodreads)
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In 1914, Joe Hill, the prolific songwriter for the Industrial Workers of the World (also known as the Wobblies), was convicted of murder in Utah and sentenced to death by firing squad, igniting international controversy. In the first major biography of the radical historical icon, William M. Adler explores an extraordinary life and presents persuasive evidence of Hill's innocence. Hill would become organized labor's most venerated martyr, and a hero to folk singers such as Woody Guthrie and Bob Dylan. His story shines a beacon on the early-twentieth-century American experience and exposes the roots of issues critical to the twenty-first century.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 435 pages
  • 142 x 210 x 29mm | 395g
  • New York
  • English
  • Illustrations, black and white
  • 1608194604
  • 9781608194605
  • 463,994

Review quote

"Exhaustively researched. The story of Joe Hill is popular among Western and labor historians, but "The Man Who Never Died "may be the best biography of the lot. An absorbing narrative." - "Denver Post" "Intriguing... a fast-paced chronicle of a life that would have gone unsung if not for Hill's martyrdom in the wake of a mockery of a trial." - "Chicago Tribune" "Finally. A real Joe Hill biography. Asks all the right questions, digs deep for the answers and reads like a true crime drama a la David Simon." --Steve Earle, singer-songwriter, author of "I'll Never Get Out of This World Alive""" "Adler meticulously examines the legal proceedings and makes a powerful case that Hill was railroaded by prosecutors intent on destroying him fro his association with the hated Wobblies. Adler even finds new evidence that strongly supports Hill's alibi. Though HIll died young, Adler shows that his sardonic, resilient voice of political protest lived, leaving a powerful influence on folk singers such as Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, and Boby Dylan." - "Boston Globe" "Joe Hill is a mythic, martyred figure in the history of American radicalism, part-labor organizer, part-songster. Bill Adler has done a fine job of rediscovering the man as well as the legend." --
Sean Wilentz, Sidney and Ruth Lapidus Professor of History at Princeton University, author of "Bob Dylan in America""" "Adler's biography breaks new ground on Hill's life and the trial that made him a left-wing icon. In its detail and range, [his] book easily surpasses previous biographies of Hill." - "Post and Courier "(Charleston, SC) "Adler has produced a fully realized picture of [Hill], but also a gripping detective story that comes close to exonerating [him]." - "Salt Lake Tribune" """'I have lived like an artist, ' Joe Hill liked to say, 'and I shall die like an artist.' Now William Adler has given Hill's remarkable story with an artist's touch. Careful, powerful, and profoundly moving, "The Man Who Never Died" is na
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About William M Adler

William M. Adler has contributed to numerous publications, including Esquire, Rolling Stone, Mother Jones, Texas Monthly, and the Texas Observer, and is the author of Land of Opportunity and Mollie's Job. He lives with his wife and son in Denver, Colorado. Visit
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Rating details

247 ratings
4.08 out of 5 stars
5 38% (94)
4 41% (101)
3 14% (34)
2 6% (14)
1 2% (4)
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