Death in the Haymarket by James R. Green

Death in the Haymarket

On May 4, 1886, a bomb exploded at a Chicago labor rally, wounding dozens of policemen, seven of whom eventually died. A wave of mass hysteria swept the country, leading to a sensational trial, that culminated in four controversial executions, and dealt a blow to the labor movement from which it would take decades to recover. Historian James Green recounts the rise of the first great labor movement in the wake of the Civil War and brings to life ...

Details Death in the Haymarket

TitleDeath in the Haymarket
Release DateMar 13th, 2007
GenreHistory, Nonfiction, Labor, Politics, North American Hi..., American History

Reviews Death in the Haymarket

  • Tim
    You will never look at your working conditions the same again. Great read. Compelling, full of information. The whole thing comes alive. You will probably be angry when you put this book down, either because you agree with the author's reading of history, or because you don't. People died for an eight hour work day. Of course, what goes along with that is that people were willing to kill to prevent the eight hour work day.
  • Bethany Woodson
    This was a great read, full of valuable information about an under-appreciated time in American history. I have to warn you though (spoiler alert), this would not be considered by most to be a happy story. This is not something taught in history class because it makes you question everything you know about anarchy in America. I highly recommend this book because it gives an important and often unheard narrative about the battle between workers an...
  • Matt
    This is simply one of the most powerful, powerfully executed, georgeously written books I've read in a long time.The Haymarket Affair is one of the great lost moments of American you don't have an excuse not to know about it.The writing nails everything you could possibly want: the mood and atmosphere of late 19th Century Chicago, Gilded up and low down depending on what street you're on, unforgettable characters (the dashing and ...
  • Sara
    A very educational book. I didn't know much about the events leading up to the Haymarket, or what happened after it, but I do enjoy my eight hour workday.
  • Julie
    I'm trying to catch up on my knowledge of labor history. This is such an important story, was just a little hard to get into.
  • William Dean
    If this kind of thing was actually taught in history class, we'd have a whole different world.
  • Matt Mishkoff
    Maybe it's because I was coming to the subject matter with such a complete lack of knowledge, but I found this book to be absolutely captivating and very educational. It's not just about the Haymarket incident - it's about the beginning of the labor movement in America and what life was like for average working people in Gilded Age Chicago. From the perch of history it's stunning to read about the hardships that people had to endure and the amoun...
  • Mike
    A decent book about the labor movement in Chicago in the 1870s and 1880s. The main story focuses on the famous Haymarket incident where dynamite (or was it?) was thrown into a crowd of policemen who were trying to break up what had been a peaceful crowd of demonstrators. The last 100 pages of the book that focus on the incident and resulting court case were the most interesting by far. I felt like the book could have been cut in half and told thi...
  • Bob
    The tragic story of a fight for justice, overpowered by greed and indifference. Haymarket was a labor rally, not something that should have erupted into violence. But it did, from an anarchist's bomb. The result: four men were hung, and they were almost certainly innocent. Not America's finest moment.Today, the labor movement is largely forgotten; robber baron greed and indifference replaced by CEO arrogance and lack of respect. Oh well.This book...
  • Joletta
    This book talked about the start of unions particularly focusing on Chicago and the strikes and rallys for the 8 hr work day. The bombing itself and the trial were just crazy and it is horrible to know that in our country people were sentenced to death for what they said and not what they did. Great book.
  • T.J.
    Informative, but dry. At times my eyes glossed over. It felt like I was reading a PhD dissertation; loaded with names and dates and meetings, the book could have used a bit more narrative hook.Relevance is found on every page.
  • Elaine
    Powerfully written history of an important moment in U.S. labor movement -- and the frame-up and unjust execution of the Haymarket martyrs.
  • Heather
    Fantastic. I learned so much, and have been lecturing people all over town about the labor movement. Amazingly written- I spent the last several chapters so upset you'd think I was reading a novel.
  • Nell
    Illustrates the perpetual struggle between employers and labor, a history of fits and starts, gains and setbacks that continues to the present day. Chicago was a center of robust economic growth. During the 1860s, Chicago’s population doubled, largely from European immigration. Some of the immigrants were unskilled, from rural backgrounds, but others came with apprenticeships, experience, and some education behind them and were used to being tr...
  • Jeff Buddle
    Haymarket. If you're a student of Anarchism it has meaning. Here we have a prime example of the United States organizing -not against murder- but IDEAS. James Green lays it out in this marvelous little book, the agents of Capital aligned to crush what we now hold sacred - the eight hour day.This is what it's about, people. There were human beings who fought and DIED so we can work less, so we can enjoy our weekends. It was a battle. The Capitalis...
  • K. Blaha
    James’ Green’s Death in the Haymarket tells the tale of the Haymarket Affair. The introduction gives a peek into the morning of May 5, 1886, the day after the eponymous Haymarket Affair, a bombing that killed seven police officers. The first chapter begins after the death of Lincoln in 1865. We follow the labor movement in Chicago for the next twenty-one years, through massive change and upheaval. Chicago more than quadrupled in size during t...
  • Corinne
    Ok, it started off kind of slow but I find it fascinating that strikes for an 8hr work day and livable wages was considered radical. And the trial...such judicial injustice, not uncommon during this era but still despicable nonetheless. My favorite kind of history is the kind people don't teach, whether it's because it's an embarrassment or because it's frowned upon. "This republic has killed five men for their opinions""The misguiding and corrup...
  • Geoffrey
    Not only is this an excellently-done work about a period of American history that continues to get nowhere near the attention it deserves, but I was taken aback by just how striking relevant the events and circumstances surrounding Haymarket felt to the modern day. Rising inequality and a correspondence struggle to a fair deal, miscarriages of justice in blatant preference for the powerful, acute demonization of groups of people who are painted a...
  • Paul
    One would need by fascinated by American labor history to find "Death in the Haymarket" all that gripping; fortunately for me, I am, so I did. Green doesn't have a great narrative gift, but he's a thorough and diligent historian who provides an excellent background to a near-forgotten episode, about which I knew very little before reading this book. If you want to write a novel, create an Amazon Original Series, or stage a pageant about the Hayma...
  • Russell Turner
    An important and fascinating book for anyone who has interest in social reform and particularly the labor movement.This may be read as a recounting of events during the gilded age, as a part of the history of Chicago and events of the industrial revolution. It may also be read as background to the present political state. If read in the latter vein it would play well against the background of "The Shock Doctrine".James Green has done a masterful ...
  • Natalie
    If you like nonfiction that paints a picture and backs that picture up with sources, Green is your guy. Solid storytelling without being too flowery for the genre. The bias of history shows, but not as Green's personal biases, just the valuable perspective of hindsight. Well-researched, well-structured and well-written.
  • Kathie
    It was Christmas 2018 and my dad went to the bookstore to pick out a book for me - Jackie, bless her heart, tried to steer him toward books from my Christmas list but he insisted that he wanted to get me this book. So this will always be my favorite book.
  • Brenda
    Interesting history of the Haymarket bomb, police action, trial and execution of "anarchists" in late 1800's Chicago. More interesting is the role that Chicago's worker and immigrant populations played in the creation of the 8 hour work day.
  • Autumn
    I grew up in the Chicago burbs. I have heard of Haymarket Square, but I knew nothing about it or what happened there. Mr. James R Green is a talented author. This book had me at the introduction, which is a rare thing.
  • Emily Rice
    Bought at Powell’s, read just after being unemployed. Really enjoyed it! I like Chicago history and political history, and I didn’t know a lot of the details and circumstances around the Haymarket bombing. Good lessons for the (hopefully!) resurgence of the labor movement.
  • Ally
    A meticulously researched, dramatically written account that will fundamentally change the way you view labor relations in the United States.
  • Lynn Lipinski
    Meticulously researched story, touching on many themes still present in labor relations and politics today.
  • Jake
    "I am an innocent man, and the world knows I am innocent. If I am to be executed at all it is because I am an Anarchist not because I am a murderer; it is because of what I have taught and spoken and written in the past, and not because of the throwing of the Haymarket bomb."Such were the words of Albert Parsons as he awaited death, convicted of the killing of several police officers that violently attacked a peaceful rally at Haymarket Square in...
  • Adam A
    I think this book is a must-read for every American, not just some or even most Americans; all of them.To this day, Unions are the hot button issue of those on either side of the fence anonymously sniping at each other on the internet when we talk about labor in the U.S., filing up behind one side of the debate or another with politicians and bureaucrats who think the debate can end with simple soundbites.So what about that pre-period of America ...
  • Caroline
    In early May 1886 in Chicago a bomb exploded during a peaceful socialist protest rally taking place in the midst of a week of massive strikes and industrial disruption, aimed at raising wages and reducing the length of the working-day for the labouring classes. At the time the bomb exploded the rally was being broken up by ranks of police officers, who responded to the explosion by firing wildly into the crowd. Many were injured, four protestors ...