NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ923258
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 23
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0033-5630
Hobo Orator Union: Class Composition and the Spokane Free Speech Fight of the Industrial Workers of the World
May, Matthew S.
Quarterly Journal of Speech, v97 n2 p155-177 2011
From 1909 to 1910, the public performance of soap-box oratory began to effect dramatic changes in the composition of migrant workers throughout the Pacific Northwest. Municipal authorities in Spokane attempted to curb the formation of a union of hobo orators by outlawing public speech-making within the city fire limits. The ensuing confrontation has come to be known as the first major Industrial Workers of the World free speech fight. Despite the ostensible concern with freedom of expression, I argue here that the cycle of struggles initiated in this confrontation should be understood as a novel effort to transform a highly mobile population of casual laborers into an orator union. Through the analysis of these events, I offer in this essay one possible model for integrating the insights of Operaismo Marxism into the critical cultural historiography of American public address. (Contains 87 notes.)
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Washington