Cover

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Series Page, Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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Contents

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pp. vii-viii

List of Illustrations

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pp. ix-x

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xi-xii

I am very fortunate to have been part of communities of intellectuals, organizers, agitators, educators, comrades, friends, critics, and fellow workers that have supported me throughout the composition of this book. Many of the ideas for Soapbox Rebellion were generated in common: during graduate seminars, reading groups, affinity groups, conferences, ...

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Preface

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pp. xiii-xiv

This book represents my efforts to rethink Rhetorical Marxism, not through engaging in theoretical or metatheoretical debate with other scholars in my field, at least not primarily, but rather through the concrete act of writing rhetorical history. The act of writing and rewriting history is always informed by the selection of one story out of the infinite story, ...

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1. Nothing in Common: Militant Rhetorical History

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pp. 1-12

I can think of no better way to introduce readers to the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) than this statement in the preamble to their constitution: “The working class and the employing class have nothing in common.” It is a bold statement—perhaps the boldest statement of working class autonomy and struggle in the history of the labor movement in the United States. ...

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2. Sparks from a Live Wire: The Origins of the Free Speech Fights and the Battle of Spokane, 1909-1910

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pp. 13-42

Millions of unemployed migratory workers traveled through the American West in the aftermath of the economic contraction of 1907. Many of them passed through the streets of Spokane and other cities of the Pacific Northwest in search of employment. They filtered through the “main stems,” gathering points of casual workers and others in search of saloons, cheap lodgings, ...

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3. A Class the Masters Fear: Fresno, 1910–1911

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pp. 43-62

The real disagreement is about potential. The stakes of the confrontation depicted in the epigraphs are less about what the Wobblies are and more about their potentiality.1 The Rev. Gillespie wonders what would become of the bums and their curbstone orators. ...

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4. A Spectacle of Agitators: San Diego, 1912

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pp. 63-82

The free speech fight in San Diego represented an important turning point in the cycle of struggles to compose migratory workers as a class through the street meetings of the hobo orator union. The formation of an orator union in San Diego represented the possibility of solidarity between the Spanish-speaking “peonage” ...

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5. Timber-beast Lament: The Everett Massacre, 1916

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pp. 83-110

Hobo orators sang “Hold the Fort” as the steamship Verona carried them north through the Puget Sound. All previous organizational efforts in Everett had been thwarted. They could not meet force with force as they lacked the industrial solidarity, not to mention the firepower, to counter the violence of cops, deputized citizen gunslingers, vigilantes, detectives, and other apparatuses of repression that had mobilized against them. ...

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6. Orator War Machines and the Will to Revolution

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pp. 111-120

This book is a book of desire: a desire, first and foremost, caught up in a transversal movement across history; a desire to speak forth the becoming of the hobo orator union into new contexts and to audiences that are yet in composition; a desire to avoid lethal encounters with the state; a desire to escape from the capture of the movement in juridical apparatuses, electoral distractions, and bargains— ...

Notes

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pp. 121-156

Glossary of Hobo Terms Used

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pp. 157-158

Works Cited

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pp. 159-170

Index

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pp. 171-176