When Workers Shot Back

When Workers Shot Back Class Conflict from 1877 to 1921 - Historical Materialism

Paperback (03 Sep 2019) | English

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Synopsis

When Workers Shot Back: Class Conflict from 1877 to 1921 explores one of the most tumultuous times in United States history. Self-organized workers recomposed their power by devising new strategies and tactics to disrupt the capitalist economy and extract concessions. Mine, railroad, steel, and iron workers pursued a strategy of tension that sometimes erupted into militant class conflict and general strikes in which workers took over and ran a number of cities. Turning conventional wisdom on its head, When Workers Shot Back argues that the escalation of working-class conflict drives rather than reacts to the consolidation and reorganisation of capital and economic and political reform of the state. Studying the class composition of this period illustrates why workers escalated the intensity of their tactics, even using tactical violence, to extract concessions and reforms when all other efforts to do so were blocked, co-opted or repressed.

About the Publisher

Haymarket Books

Haymarket Books

Haymarket Books is a nonprofit, progressive book distributor and publisher, a project of the Center for Economic Research and Social Change. We believe that activists need to take ideas, history, and politics into the many struggles for social justice today. Learning the lessons of past victories, as well as defeats, can arm a new generation of fighters for a better world. As Karl Marx said, “The philosophers have merely interpreted the world the point however is to change it.” We take inspiration and courage from our namesakes, the Haymarket Martyrs, who gave their lives fighting for a better world. Their 1886 struggle for the eight-hour day, which gave us May Day, the international workers’ holiday, reminds workers around the world that ordinary people can organize and struggle for their own liberation. These struggles continue today across the globe—struggles against oppression, exploitation, hunger, and poverty. It was August Spies, one of the Martyrs who was targeted for being an immigrant and an anarchist, who predicted the battles being fought to this day. “If you think that by hanging us you can stamp out the labor movement,” Spies told the judge, “then hang us. Here you will tread upon a spark, but here, and there, and behind you, and in front of you, and everywhere, the flames will blaze up. It is a subterranean fire. You cannot put it out. The ground is on fire upon which you stand.”

Book information

ISBN: 9781642590593
Publisher: Haymarket Books
Imprint: Haymarket Books
Pub date:
Language: English
Number of pages: 606
Weight: 840g
Height: 155mm
Width: 229mm
Spine width: 34mm