Mother Jones: Raising Cain and Consciousness
A key organizer in the early American union movement of the late 1800s, Mother Jones encouraged many groups of American workers to stand up for their rights in the face of larger-than-life foes like Carnegie and Rockefeller, becoming a powerful symbol in her own time as well as in the civil rights movements of the 1960s and '70s. Author and professor Cordery (British Friendly Societies, 1750-1918) has produced an exhaustive biography of Mary Harris Jones, drawn mostly from her own testimonials and primary source accounts of her work-which the activist-agitator didn't begin until her sixties. Cordery is quick not to take Jones's words at face value-her commitment was to the cause, not to truth-but his reportorial rigor takes a lot of steam out of the proceedings, making for a scandalously dry narrative about a figure central to some very interesting times. 22 b&w illus.