WOBBLY: The Rough & Tumble Story of an American Radical by Ralph Chaplin
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WOBBLY: The Rough & Tumble Story of an American Radical

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The autobiography of an I.W.W. leader -- and a revealing picture of the movement seen from the inside of the crusading poet, artist and editor, who with Debs, Heywood, Frank Little, Joe Hill, St. John built up I.W.W. to its peak strength, only to see it crumble with the anti-war stand in 1918 -- and collapse utterly with the Communist infiltration of the labor ranks after the war. On the personal level, this is the story of the making of a radical, a life of poverty and violence, of unionism as a primary purpose for his writing and his artistic abilities. As an editor he fought through major labor battles. But with World War I he went to Leavenworth for anti-war propaganda. When Harding commuted his sentence, he came out to fight the Communist- led bid for power in unionism, a losing battle on the West Coast particularly. He rejects the C.I.O. as Moscow-controlled, the A.F. of L. as reactionary, and finds little on the labor front, except its accomplishments, to assuage his conscience, and has bit by bit re-assessed his values to an idealistic nationalism, a return to God....A vivid, inside story which reads like Dos Passos; a soul-searing ideological growth of a serious, socially-conscious person. Very good reading in a special field.

Pub Date: Sept. 6th, 1948
Publisher: Univ. of Chicago Press