Sunday, October 17, 2010

Five best books on terror in America from another era

Beverly Gage teaches at Yale University and is the author of The Day Wall Street Exploded.

For the Wall Street Journal, she named a five best list of books about terror in America from another era.

One title on the list:
Death in the Haymarket
by James Green (2006)

A century ago the "anarchist bomb-thrower" was a widely feared specter in American politics. In "Death in the Haymarket," labor historian James Green explores the reality behind the image. Delivering a gripping account of Americans' first major encounter with anarchist violence. On May 4, 1886, a bomb exploded when Chicago police tried to disperse a labor demonstration in Haymarket Square. In the explosion and riot that followed, seven policemen were killed, sparking national outrage. Green vividly recounts the ensuing trial, in which eight anarchists condemned to death (four were eventually hanged) essentially for their beliefs—though the actual bomb-thrower was never found. The book's greatest value lies in its evocation of Gilded Age class conflict, showing how the bombing emerged from, and ultimately shaped, struggles over labor policies such as the eight-hour day. Though the context could hardly be more different, "Death in the Haymarket" touches on issues still at the heart of the debate over terrorism, including civil liberties, immigration and free speech.
Read about the other books on the list.

Visit Beverly Gage's Yale faculty webpage, and learn more about The Day Wall Street Exploded at the Oxford University Press website.

The Page 99 Test: The Day Wall Street Exploded.

--Marshal Zeringue