Anne Robinson, Karen Saxby
Working-Class Heroes is an organic melding of history, music, and politics that demonstrates with remarkably colourful evidence that workers everywhere will struggle to improve their conditions of life. And among them will be workers who share an insight: in order to better our lot, we must act collectively to change the world. Carefully curated by Mat Callahan and Yvonne Moore, this profusely illustrated treasury of song sheets, lyrics, photographs, histories, and biographical sketches explores the notion that our best hope lies in the capacity of ordinary working people to awaken to the need to emancipate ourselves and all of humanity. Featuring over a dozen songwriters, from Joe Hill to Aunt Molly Jackson, Working-Class Heroes delivers a lyrical deathblow to the myth that so-called political songs of the twentieth century were all being written by intellectuals and outside agitators in New York. Many, like Ella May Wiggins, were literally murdered by the bosses. Others, like Sarah Ogan Gunning, watched their children starve to death and their husbands die of black lung, only to rise up singing against the system that caused so much misery. Their heroism resulted not from their being different from their fellow workers but from being the same.