Park City

Oct. 21, 2011
5:30 PM
1255 Park Avenue

Historian William M. Adler, author of The Man Who Never Died, the Life, Times and Legacy of Joe Hill, American Labor, will lead a discussion on the research and writing of his book, followed by a Q&A with the audience.  Book sale and signing will follow.

Adler will also appear on Oct. 22, 2011 at the SALT LAKE CITY MAIN LIBRARY, Auditorium, 210 E. 400 S. at 12:00 PM as part of a panel discussion on “Joe Hill and the History of Utah Radicalism” with John Sillito and John McCormick, co-authors of A History of Utah Radicalism (Utah State University Press, 2011).  The panel will include a Q&A with the audience.  Book sales and signings follow.

In 1914, Joe Hill was convicted of murder in Salt Lake City and sentenced to death by firing squad, igniting international controversy. Many believed Hill was innocent, condemned for his association with the Industrial Workers of the World-the radical Wobblies. Now, following five years of intensive investigation, William M. Adler gives us the first full-scale biography of Joe Hill, and presents never before published documentary evidence that comes as close as one can to definitively exonerating him. Hill’s gripping tale is set against a brief but electrifying moment in American history, between the century’s turn and World War I, when the call for industrial unionism struck a deep chord among disenfranchised workers; when class warfare raged and capitalism was on the run. Hill was the union’s preeminent songwriter, and in death, he became organized labor’s most venerated martyr, celebrated by Woody Guthrie and Bob Dylan, and immortalized in the ballad “I Dreamed I Saw Joe Hill Last Night.”

“Finally. A real Joe Hill biography. Asks all the right questions, digs deep for the answers and reads like a true crime drama à la David Simon.”

-- Steve Earle, singer-songwriter, author of I’ll Never Get Out of This World Alive

 “Mr. Adler concludes that Hill came to believe that he was worth far more to his cause as a symbol than as an individual. His rousing last words show him to be a man mindful of his legacy: ‘Don’t waste time in mourning. Organize!’”

-- The Economist

William M. Adler has written for many national and regional magazines, including Esquire, Rolling Stone, Mother Jones, and the Texas Observer. In addition to The Man Who Never Died, he has authored two other books of narrative nonfiction: Land of Opportunity (Atlantic Monthly Press, 1995), an intimate look at the rise and fall of a crack cocaine empire, and Mollie’s Job (Scribner, 2000), which follows the flight of a single factory job from the U.S. to Mexico over the course of fifty years. His work explores the intersection of individual lives and the larger forces of their times, and it describes the gap between American ideals and American realities. Adler lives with his wife and son in Denver, Colorado.

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