Red November, Black November

Culture and Community in the Industrial Workers of the World

By Salvatore Salerno

Subjects: American Labor History
Series: SUNY series in American Labor History
Paperback : 9780791400890, 232 pages, July 1989
Hardcover : 9780791400883, 232 pages, July 1989

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Table of contents




1. Historians and the I. W.W.

2. The Myth of Frontier Origins

3. Anarchists at the Founding Convention

4. The I. W.W. and the C. G.T.

5. Art and Politics: Anarcho-Syndicalist Tactics in I. W.W. Art Forms

6. Wobbly Sensibility: Conclusions and Implications




Red November, Black November is a study of the culture of the I. W. W. movement at the turn of the twentieth century. It analyzes the Wobblies' use of cultural expressions such as songs, poems, and cartoons as a means of educating and unifying workers, and as weapons in the struggle against the repressive social conditions of industrial development. The book emphasizes the important role played by immigrant activists, Wobbly artists, and intellectuals, offering a fascinating portrait of the complexity of pre-World War I labor radicalism.

Salvatore Salerno is Professor on the Community Faculty staff of Metropolitan State University in St. Paul, Minnesota.


"This work is full of unexpected ramifications in relation to the existing scholarship. The indications of anarchist influence within the I. W. W. and the illustration of them through iconographic and textual readings are powerful sources of insight. The critique of existing scholarship is penetrating and very convincing. In my considered opinion, there are simply no books similar to this. " — Paul Buhle, New York University