Hobohemia: Emma Goldman, Lucy Parsons, Ben Reitman & other agitators & outsiders in 1920s/30s Chicago

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Charles H. Kerr Company, 2000 - History - 124 pages
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From the 1910s through the Depression 30s, when Chicago was the undisputed hobo capital of the United States, a small north side neighborhood know as Towertown was the vital center of an extraordinary cultural/political ferment. It was home to Bughouse Square (the nation's most renowned outdoor free-speech center), Ben Reitman's Hobo College, and the fabulous Dil Pickle club, a highly unorthodox institution of higher learning that doubled as the craziest nightclub in the world. It was something like New York's Greenwich Village, but - thanks to the prominence of the Chicago-based IWW - much more working class, and more openly revolutionary. Frank O Becks Hobohemia contains a long time Towertowner's vivid reminiscences of this colorful, dynamic, creative and radical community that flourished for a generation despite constant onslaughts from the Red Squad, the Vice Squad, bourgeois journalists and fundamentalist bigots. Originally published in 1956, this handsome new edition contains a superb introduction from Franklin Rosemont, providing a historical overview of Chicago's working class counter-culture, and a biographical sketch of Beck. It also relates the book to earlier and later literature on the subject and fills in some gaps in the narrative.

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About the author (2000)

Franklin Rosemont was born on October 2, 1943, in Chicago, Illinois. His father, Henry, was a labor activist, and mother, Sally, a jazz musician. He edited and wrote an introduction for What is Surrealism?: Selected Writings of Andre Breton, and edited Rebel Worker, Arsenal/Surrealist Subversion, THE RISE AND FALL OF THE DIL PICKLE and Juice Is Stranger Than Friction: Selected Writings of T-Bone Slim. With Penelope Rosemont and Paul Garon he edited THE FORECAST IS HOT!. His work has been deeply concerned with both the history of surrealism (writing a forward for Max Ernst and Alchemy: A Magician in Search of Myth) and of the radical labor movement in America, for instance, writing a biography of Joe Hill. He died on April 12, 2009, in Chicago.

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