Wobblies of the World

Wobblies of the World : A Global History of the IWW

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The Industrial Workers of the World is a union unlike any other. Founded in 1905 in Chicago, it rapidly gained members across the world thanks to its revolutionary, internationalist outlook. By using powerful organising methods including direct-action and direct-democracy, it put power in the hands of workers. This philosophy is labeled as `revolutionary industrial unionism' and the members called, affectionately, `Wobblies'.

This book is the first to look at the history of the IWW from an international perspective. Bringing together a group of leading scholars, it includes lively accounts from a number diverse countries including Australia, Canada, Mexico, South Africa, Sweden and Ireland, which reveal a fascinating story of global anarchism, syndicalism and socialism.

Drawing on many important figures of the movements such as Tom Barker, Har Dayal, Joe Hill, James Larkin and William D. "Big Bill" Haywood, and exploring particular industries including shipping, mining, and agriculture, this book describes how the IWW and its ideals travelled around the world.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 320 pages
  • 150 x 230 x 25.4mm | 476.27g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0745399592
  • 9780745399591
  • 600,122

Table of contents



Part I: Transnational Influences on the IWW

1. 'A Cosmopolitan Crowd': Transnational Anarchists, the IWW, and the American Radical Press by Kenyon Zimmer

2. Sabotage, the IWW, and Repression: How the American Reinterpretation of a French Concept Gave Rise to a New International Conception of Sabotage by Dominique Pinsolle

3. Living Social Dynamite: Early Twentieth-Century IWW-South Asia Connections by Tariq Khan

4. IWW Internationalism and Interracial Organizing in the Southwestern United States by David M. Struthers

5. Spanish Anarchists and Maritime Workers in the IWW by Bieito Alonso

Part II: The IWW in the Wider World

6. The IWW and the Dilemmas of Labor Internationalism by Wayne Thorpe

7. The IWW in Tampico: Anarchism, Internationalism, and Solidarity Unionism in a Mexican Port by Kevan Antonio Aguilar

8. The Wobblies of the North Woods: Finnish Labor Radicalism and the IWW in Northern Ontario by Saku Pinta

9. 'We must do away with racial prejudice and imaginary boundary lines': British Columbia's Wobblies before World War I by Mark Leier

10. Wobblies Down Under: The IWW in Australia by Verity Burgmann

11. Ki Nga Kaimahi Maori ('To all Maori Workers'): The New Zealand IWW and the Maori by Mark Derby

12. Patrick Hodgens Hickey and the IWW: A Transnational Relationship by Peter Clayworth

13. 'The Cause of the Workers Who Are Fighting in Spain is Yours': The Marine Transport Workers and the Spanish Civil War by Matthew White

14. Edith Frenette: A Transnational Radical Life by Heather Mayer

Part III: Beyond the Union: The IWW's Influence and Legacies

15. Jim Larkin, James Connolly, and the Dublin Lockout of 1913: The Transnational Path of Global Syndicalism by Marjorie Murphy

16. Tom Barker and Revolutionary Europe by Paula de Angelis

17. P. J. Welinder and 'American Syndicalism' in Interwar Sweden by Johan Pries

18. 'All Workers Regardless Of Craft, Race Or Color': The First Wave of IWW Activity and Influence in South Africa by Lucien van der Walt

19. Tramp, Tramp, Tramp: The Songs of Joe Hill Around the World by Bucky Halker
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Review quote

'This eclectic and wide-ranging book is a significant contribution to our understanding of the IWW and its international reach ... [it] performs a valuable service in recalling our attention to the centrality of internationalism in the IWW's vision. Anyone serious about the history of the IWW will need to read this book' -- Jon Bekeen, former General Secretary-Treasurer of the IWW (US) and co-author of 'The Industrial Workers of the World: Its First Hundred Years' 'Recommended' -- CHOICE 'Fantastic' -- Labor Notes '[A] valuable collection' -- Against the Current 'As a second-generation member of the IWW, I am delighted to see this outstanding collection of essays on the Wobblies, their achievements, and their substantial impact despite severe repression' -- Noam Chomsky 'A splendid project and a vitally important contribution to the understanding of labor as a social movement.' -- Paul Buhle, author of Wobblies!: A Graphic History of the Industrial Workers of the World (2005) 'Finally! A book about the IWW that takes seriously their global self-description. This book is a landmark and a sea beacon in the history of the planetary proletariat' -- Marcus Rediker, author of Slave Ship: A Human History (John Murray, 2008)
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About Kenyon Zimmer

Peter Cole is Professor of History at Western Illinois University and Research Associate at the Society, Work and Development Institute, University of the Witwatersrand. He is the author of Wobblies on the Waterfront (University of Illinois Press, 2007) and editor of Wobblies of the World (Pluto, 2017). David M. Struthers is an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the University of Copenhagen. He is the editor of Wobblies of the World (Pluto, 2017). Kenyon Zimmer is Associate Professor of History at the University of Texas at Arlington. He is the author of Immigrants Against the State (University of Illinois Press, 2015) and the editor of Wobblies of the World (Pluto, 2017).
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Rating details

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