When: Thu., Sept. 8 2011
If iconic labor organizer and songwriter Joe Hill were alive today to witness the brouhaha over SB 5, he would be all smiles. Then again, the fact that Hill died by firing squad in 1915 is a reminder that the labor movement has never been much of a laughing matter. A murder conviction earned the union troubadour a death sentence after prosecutors linked his red bandanna to one worn by the killer. But author William Adler claims Hill's hands were clean. "The case would have been dismissed if Hill wasn't involved with the Industrial Workers of the World," says the freelance writer and contributor to Esquire, Rolling Stone, and Mother Jones. "His unjust death served as an inspiration for unions worldwide and his words — 'Don't waste time, organize!' — are as true today as they were back then." Adler's biography, The Man Who Never Died: The Life, Times, and Legacy of Joe Hill, sheds new light on Hill's life and death, and argues convincingly for the guilt of another man. You can discover the real story tonight at Mac's Backs in Coventry, where Adler will be speaking at 7 p.m. Rootsy Rust Belt folksinger Deborah Van Kleef will bring Hill's songs to life. It's free and open to the public. — Phil Barnes 1820 Coventry Rd., 216-321-BOOK, themanwhoneverdied.com/events.