Big Bill Haywood and the Radical Union Movement

By Joseph R. Conlin | Go to book overview

1

Worker

When Big Bill Haywood was at the height of his infamy during the second decade of the twentieth century, his enemies often pictured him as the personification of all that was violent and disruptive in American industrial relations. They traced this alleged character to Haywood's youth; they said he had grown up in the old West where men reached for guns on impulse and that Haywood, unlike the nation, never outgrew this boyish unruliness. Bill Haywood himself occasionally reveled in the notoriety and reinforced their point by playing the son of the wild cayuse. In fact, while Haywood was no stranger to violence, the scene of his youth was not very wild at all. He spent all but a few of his first fifteen years in Salt Lake City, the placid capital of the Mormon Zion. Established in 1847, Salt Lake City was a physical monument to the disciplined mind of its founder, Brigham Young. The streets were broad boulevards, planned and straight, intersecting at regular intervals. Lots were uniform, and virtually every house was serviced by the Mormons' famous irrigation ditches. 1

In its social life too, Salt Lake did not resemble the legendary town of the wild West so much as a prosperous and decidedly sedate midwestern city. A large number of permanent public buildings, including the famous Mormon Tabernacle, seemed to belie the fact that the town was barely two decades old. "Opportunities" listed in the city directory included the Mercantile Department of the University of Deseret, Morgan's Commercial College, Union Academy, and

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Big Bill Haywood and the Radical Union Movement
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Big Bill Haywood and the Radical Union Movement *
  • Big Bill Haywood and the Radical Union Movement *
  • Preface vii
  • Contents *
  • 1 - Worker 1
  • 2 - Unionist 20
  • 3 - Undesirable Citizen 52
  • 4 - The Eminent Man 77
  • 5 - Wobbly 118
  • 6 - Socialist 148
  • 7 - Bête Noire 170
  • 8 - Communist 191
  • 9 - Frustration of a Radical 210
  • Bibliographical Note 215
  • Notes to Chapters 219
  • Index 241
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