Tag Archives: reading

Did they really read Marx?

Over the weekend I attended an excellent new book panel on Jonathan Sperber’s Karl Marx: a 19th Century Life organized by the Labor History Seminar at the Newberry Library here in Chicago.  The general thrust of Sperber’s book is to … Continue reading

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Transfixed by Distant Power

Workers gazing upward and into the distance was a key motif of sight in the art and photography of self-education. In this post, I follow this gaze to see what lies in the distance. Later I will move on to … Continue reading

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Joe Worker Arrives Online

In the last days of my tenure at the University of Illinois, I spent several hours digging through vertical files in the library of the Institute of Labor and Industrial Relations.  Because of changes in professors’ interests–generally away from collective … Continue reading

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An awakening as sudden as it was violent

From James Maurer, It Can Be Done (New York:  The Rand School, 1938). Learning to Read Working beside me in the machine shop was a journeyman named Thomas King.  I learned later that he was one of the original organizers … Continue reading

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What the Hobo Reads, c. 1922

Daniel Horsley, “What the Hobo Reads” When I write of the “hobo” I wish to define what I mean by the term.  I don’t consider a man a hobo who is down in the rut because of his own licentiousness, … Continue reading

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By sharing our experiences, we see our problems more clearly

RELATIONS WITHIN THE CLASS We come here with equal rights. All of us have a right to take part in the discussion. We are all workers, but we do not all do the same kind of work. We come here … Continue reading

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Cheap pulp tales enlarged my knowledge of the world

In my class was a tall, black, rebellious boy who was bright in his studies and yet utterly fearless in his assertion of himself; he could break the morale of the class at any moment with his clowning and the … Continue reading

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Two points of view struggled for supremacy in me

I did not only like to read novels and tales; I had begun, as I have already mentioned, to read the classics and other good books. I also began to take an interest in public events. I was barely fifteen … Continue reading

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I was continually with my thoughts in quite another world

“I loved to read. I read without choice whatever came into my hands, whatever acquaintances lent me–they did not distinguish between what was suitable and unsuitable for me–and whatever I could borrow at a second-hand bookshop in our suburb by … Continue reading

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What does reading do?

“She whispered to me the story of Bluebeard and His Seven Wives and I ceased to see the porch, the sunshine, her face, everything. As her words fell upon my new ears, I endowed them with a reality that welled … Continue reading

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How I Became a Rebel: James Maurer

James Maurer Originally uploaded by Tobias Higbie How I Became a Rebel. A Symposium. Part 2. The Labor Herald, July 1922, p. 24. By James H. Maurer I AM asked to tell how I became a rebel. This, I fear, … Continue reading

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