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The Man Who Never Died: The Life, Times, and Legacy of Joe Hill, American Labor Icon
Synopses & Reviews
In 1914, Joe Hill was convicted of murder in Utah and sentenced to death by firing squad, igniting international controversy. Many believed Hill was innocent, condemned for his association with the Industrial Workers of the World — the radical Wobblies. Now, following four years of intensive investigation, William M. Adler gives us the first full-scale biography of Joe Hill, and presents never before published documentary evidence that comes as close as one can to definitively exonerating him.
Joe Hill's gripping tale is set against a brief but electrifying moment in American history, between the century's turn and World War I, when the call for industrial unionism struck a deep chord among disenfranchised workers; when class warfare raged and capitalism was on the run. Hill was the union's preeminent songwriter, and in death, he became organized labor's most venerated martyr, celebrated by Woody Guthrie and Bob Dylan, and immortalized in the ballad "I Dreamed I Saw Joe Hill Last Night."
The Man Who Never Died does justice to Joe Hill's extraordinary life and its controversial end. Drawing on extensive new evidence, Adler deconstructs the case against his subject and argues convincingly for the guilt of another man. Reading like a murder mystery, and set against the background of the raw, turn-of-the-century West, this essential American story will make news and expose the roots of critical contemporary issues.
Book News Annotation:
This is an investigative biography of Joe Hill, the IWW songwriter and organizer accused of murdering a Salt Lake City grocer, who later became a folk icon. Hill was tried and convicted if the murder based mostly on the fact that Hill had received a gunshot wound the same night. Insisting on his innocence and demanding a new trial, Hill declined the chance for a pardon and was executed by firing squad in 1915. Alder follows Hill's life and activities from his birth to his death, uncovering new archival material which lends support to the case for Hill's innocence. Annotation ©2011 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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.
About the Author
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 themanwhoneverdied.com.
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Arts and Entertainment » Music » Genres and Styles » Folk » Biographies