Mother Jones CL

Betsy Harvey Kraft, Author
Betsy Harvey Kraft, Author Clarion Books $16.95 (116p) ISBN 978-0-395-67163-4
Reviewed on: 04/03/1995
Release date: 04/01/1995
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This scintillating, well-illustrated biography achieves the formidable task of doing justice to its redoubtable subject, Mary Harris Jones, better known as Mother Jones (1843?-1930). An Irish immigrant, Jones had survived several personal tragedies before becoming a labor activist in her mid-50s. As Kraft describes it, she brought passion and high color to her career, whether she was organizing unions, delivering fiery speeches around the country or aiding impoverished and brutalized strikers. Kraft chronicles her triumphs as one of America's most powerful activists, but she also discusses Jones's blatant self-promotion and her scattered but costly defeats. Making sophisticated use of Jones's own autobiography (which, as Kraft points out, is far from objective) and other primary sources, the author enlivens her work with personal anecdotes that reveal Jones's remarkable conviction. Ages 9-up. (Apr.)
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