Professor Elliott J. Gorn of Loyola University Chicago will discuss the life of the famous labor leader Mary Harris, better known as Mother Jones, “the grandmother of all agitators,” focusing specifically on her Irish origins and influences, her life as an American labor organizer, and her recent repatriation back to Ireland.
In his book Mother Jones: The Most Dangerous Woman in America, Gorn puts Jones’s past into context as he traces her life through the events of the Irish potato famine, the loss of her husband and children from disease, her attainment of an early education, and the development of her organizing talents that led to her becoming a well-known advocate of labor organization in America. Known at the turn of the twentieth-century as “the most dangerous woman in America” for her success of organizing mining workers, Jones’s history is researched by Gorn with special attention to the portions of her life that became shrouded in mystery and the many little known facts about the figure behind the famous words of “Pray for the dead and fight like hell for the Living”.
Elliott Gorn holds a PhD from Yale University and his interests include American culture and sports history, particularly centered on the history of various social groups in American urban centers. Professor Gorn is the author of several books that include Dillinger’s Wild Ride: The Year That Made America’s Public Enemy Number One, A Brief History of American Sports, and The Manly Art: Bare-Knuckle Prize Fighting in America.
The Ernie O’Malley Lecture Series is endowed by Cormac K. H. O’Malley in honor of his father, Ernie O’Malley.
Introduction by Marion Casey, Clinical Assistant Professor of Irish Studies and Senior Archivist, Archives of Irish America, NYU.
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