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tv   2018 Printers Row Lit Fest - Jacqueline Jones Goddess of Anarchy  CSPAN  June 17, 2018 11:15pm-12:00am EDT

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thoughts on free speech in america. yes we still can, former obama administration director describes howolic the media and the internet changed during the obama presidency and how democrats should respond to the trump administration. also being published this week, new york times national security correspondent david singer looks at the rise of cyber weapons in the perfect weapon. formerly known as food, kristin lawless reports on how industrial farming and mechanical views to processed foods are changing our body. look for these titles and in bookstores this coming weeks. >> that afternoon and welcome to the 34th annual chicago tribune lit fast. i want to give a special thank you for all of our sponsors.
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today's program will be broadcast live on c-span2 book tv. there's time at the end of the session q&a with the author. we ask you to use the microphone to the side. before we begin today's program we ask that you silence your cell phones and turn off your camera flash. please welcome mark jacob of treacherous beauty. >> my name is mark jacob. i'm a former metro editor at the tribune. thank you for coming. i want to introduce our guest today, jaclyn jones, chair of the history department at the university of texas austin and a really fine writer of history. two of her books were finalist for ther pulitzer prize. her newest book is just as gorgeous, a really revealing book called goddess of
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anarchy, the lic life and times of lucy parkins, american radical. it's great having their since she was from chicago. tell us a little bit about lucy. >> it's great to be back in chicago. i think most people know lucy as the wife and widow of albert parsons who was one of the kmart reporters.ct they were convicted unjustly and executed in november 1887 for his alleged role in the bombing in may of 1886. that was an incident where the anarchists of chicago call the rally to protest the killing of workers by police a couple daysfo before the crowd gathered in haymarket square, someone threw a bomb juster as a group of 80 police entered the
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square and seven police were killed and four others killed, countless injured. the identity of the bomb thrower is still unknown and yet the authorities were very quick to round up whaty certainly considered the usual suspect, albert parsons among them. albert parsons is a well-known because of the haymarket trial, his subsequent execution with three of his comrades, and lucy, for many been known as his t wife and then his widow, most people don't realize she had a career of her own and actually obtained a kind of celebrity hood in the late 19th century. she is well known, the press followed her obsessively, she was an agitator. she was a radical agitator. she was not a theorist, she
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was not an organizer. she was an eloquent speaker and passione defender of the first amendment. she talked about the growing inequality between the rich and poor. she decried the exploitation of workers by the robber barons of the day. she argued machines were taking over the workplace and putting people out ofsh work. >> shek had such radical stands as leaving in the eight hour workday. ngno child labor, some of them have been accepted, others not. he had to admit that she was not a literal bomb thrower but she was really a bomb
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thrower. her rhetoric and her writings were very raw. for instance, her husband edited newspaper and in the first issue in october of 1884, lucy parsons wrote an essay called two tramps where she exhorted the unemployed, the downhearted to take their destiny in their own hands. the very lastas sentence is lower the use of explosives. she and others wrote quite a bit about dynamite as the great leveling force. in other words, the chicago police, the illinois national guard, federal troops were all
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arrayed against workers, interrupting peaceful assemblie assemblies, bringing out gatling guns and canon against peacefully estriking workers. the anarchists said they needed to defend themselves and they decided that dynamite was a vehicle for that kind of defense. we might say lucy parsons and others were going to the fence and really argue for the proactive force to take out what they considered these capitalists exploiters, women and children among them. she seems to have been quite a combatant about free speech rights. they kept on pulling her on the stages. >> there's great descriptions of her of her here in
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chicago. she would be in stage and the police would come up on stage and literally force her off because she was not displaying the american flag. they argued it was illegal for her to do that. she preferred the black and red flag of evolution, but she was a fierce defender of freedom of speech. she was never so happy then when she was dodging her police from one streetcorner to another as they tried to shut her down. her rhetoric was very raw, it was a rhetoric of struggle and radicalism. the authorities feared her. the chicago tribune was really
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bewildered by her and they weren't sure how to deal with her. they worried if they gave her too much publicity it would only fuel her ambitions and keep her speaking. on the other hand, to ignore her seems to be the wrong way because she apparently represented a great threat to the social order. >> this biography is really welcomed. there's one earlier biography by carolyn ashbaugh and she did somely strong work, but there are a lot of gaps. you fill some of them in an admirable way regarding her ethnicity and where she was a born, there's basic facts about her life that have not been revealed. >> i was able to find that she was born to an enslaved woman in 1851 and her owner, tj
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brought his enslaved workers, forcibly removed them from the east coast during the civil war, took the plantation in central texas and in 1865, lucy, her two younger brothers and mother moved to waco to escape the tremendous violence on the countryside. her origins had not been known , her mother, her two younger brothers, they had some kind of relationship with a black man, she had a child early in her life around the age of 18. this is all interesting because later in life she will claim to be the daughter of mexican and native american parents. that was a y fiction.
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>> i wonder if one of the reasons she's not more famous today is because she denied her african roots. why do you think she did that. >> that's a good question purchase still something of an enigma to me. i think she worried about her own credibility with her constituents whi consisted of the white urban laboring classes. i think she feared, given the tremendous prejudice against african-americans that if she trevealed herself as a former slave that her credibility would be less in the eyes of white men and women. her origins are kind of in determined as you can see from the picture she is light-skinned and she made use of that ambiguity in
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presenting herself as mexican and indian. she used toativeborn whites, you think you've been here for a long time, my ancestors welcome cortez to the shores of the new world. i think she was being playful in her identity. >> it's a fascinating story how lucy gets from these origins in texas, her husband was in the confederate army yet he marries part african woman in dissent and then they move up to chicago and become part of this amazing, this struggle with german immigrants. >> they move right into the
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german immigrant community when they arrivedhe from texas in the winter 1 o 1873, 1874. i think that albert, who had worked as a republican organizer in texas after the war made substantial connections with immigrants in that state. they were a key part of the republican coalition. my guess is he met someone who had a cousin or an uncle in chicago, they moved into german immigrant community, they stayed within the parameters of that community their whole lives in chicago, albert found work as a printer and lucy opened the seamstress shop. their strategies for struggle were very reflective of european socialist methods.
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at first albert and lucy embraced the two-party system. albert ran for public office a couple of times. he lost and became convinced the two-party system was vihopelessly corrupt. in the early 1880s he and lucy became anarchists and rejected the two-party system. when they did that they broke with their socialist comrades. the group of anarchist here in chicago in the 1880s, i think it had a larger presence than was warranted in the sense that they had several newspapers, they had a number of eloquent speakers and they seem to represent a real presence in the city when in fact they numbered only a couple hundred people. >> i wonder whether part of the reason that lucy parsons isn't more a famous now and
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isn't as famous as she deserves to be is that she was so disconnected with the suffrage movement. she thought, who cares if we get the vote, the vote is fake anyway. she didn't care forming got to vote. she denied her african roots so she didn't end up becoming any part of the modern black history movement either. i wonder whether she just kind of got forgotten because of that. >> i think there's several reasons, she was definitely disdainful of reformers. jane addams, whom she met and jane addams help to bail her out of jail in 1915 when lucy parsons led what was called a hunger demonstration out of whole health here in chicago. chicago was well known for many reformers who felt they were a moderating influence
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standing between the police on one hand and the great industrialist, and on other hand, the workers, armed and angry. cthese reformers thought if they could shave off the rough edges of capitalism there could be a compromise between these two parties. : : : so she was not really part of that reform scene which was very much a part of chicago social life in the late 19th, early 20th century. the fact that she was not identifying herself with the african-american community certainly is a factor too in her legacy. but i think one interesting point here is that she was a tremendous and that is why the army sphere
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her and yet we don't have any recordings of her speeches. she was a prolific writer who edited t to periodicals and wasn interesting writer considerishet editor, writer, but i think it's the speaker most people in chicago knew her because they spoke with such passion and would say things like is my desire to be the person who runs the guillotine and chops off the head of the capitalists throughout this land. their language was so over the top and yet it was unusual to hear that language at the time and they were often in the meetings and rallies and they
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would clamor for her to speak and there are great descriptions of the former socialist comrades rolling their eyes when she comesec down and begins to speak because they know they've lost control of the meeting and she is a force to be reckoned with. going back to your question, one of the issues here is in a way her influence was sent illusory but ity was very temporal, that is she could influence the crowd she spoke to. she was a very self-possessed eloquent speaker and a lot of people didn't know what to make of her, that that i think was her claim to fame and w the ende lost that so in a sense we lost
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her legacy. >> she also was on the losing side in many ways and didn't get along with the anarchists of the day. >> she was disgusted with goldman and they represented a different kind of anarchists. they believed trade unions were thforthe embryo of the society r the local voluntary associations people would join, there would be no competition or wage earning and so forth. they represented a strange that focused on the liberation of artistic impulses and feelings. it's funny because goldman would argue that monogamy was a false
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impulse that men andul women should be freexpress their desires t and lucy parsons requital to this idea publicly and said this had nothing to do with the class struggle. it was an idea that threatened to put the families apart because they would never know who their fathers were. but emma goldman said at one point of all people, lucy parsons should be criticizing this new idea because she lived her life as a sexually three-person. we know she had sexual relations before she met albert parsons she had a child who died in infancy and then her marriage was dead a year after she took over the immigrant and there
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were rumors after that so emma goldman would say things like you of all people shouldn't be criticizing my views off liberation. she feuded with eugene and so yes there were very famous radicals who considered her hard to understand. they couldn't pinpoint her and didn't know where she was going. she wasn't an ideologue she was more an orator. >> what are some of the things yomost admire about her? >> her physical courage getting up in front of a crowdf of hundreds, speaking and knowing that in the audience are undercoverole officers and
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journalists under cover in disguise. a great description of aea reporter wearing a fake beard that comes off when he runs out of the hall but s was besieged by the authorities in chicago and persisted as one of the original i think if we can say that. in her of her commitment to the down trodden and exploited in the language we find familiar today that was considered radical at the time she adds a sense of fundamental things. she understood that when technological innovation invades the workplace, people are going to lose their jobs. machines will do that work. they don't ask for raises and
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when employers can find them they use machines. we see that happening today. she didn't understand the full extent of the american economy as the dynamic organism for tainstance in chicago in the lae 19th century, the retail sector was growing and so was the commercialized sector indices were ways for people to spend their money. i don't think she quite understood the power of the consumer society. >> you have driven to write a biographyki that kind of rewards so wha of the things that made them seem less than? >> how do i put this, she and albert were both on the road a
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lot speaking after his incarceration in the summer of 1866 she lost a national speaking tour and for the f next several decades wellnto the teens, she was on the road speaking. she had two children and albertt junior born in 1878, lulu born in 1881, when the parsons were outen of town, they were taken care of by families in the neighborhood. she died in 1988 after complications from scarlet fev fever. in 1899he lucy was on the street corners denouncin of denouncinge american imperialism abroad. arguing against american intervention i cuba and the
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philippines. one day that summer her son who was about 20 came home and announced that he was joining the army and goingn to fight and she was horrified. within a week, she dragged him before a judge and she had the judge declared him legally insane and was remanded north of the city right after that and he died there 20 years later. she never visited him, he was miserable and tormented by the orderlies have died of tuberculosis. it's a heartbreaking story and i had to grapple with what i caught this gratuitous cruelty which i didn't understand. it affects the things she
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couldn't tolerate that her own son would humiliate her in public by joining the army and shipping off for the u.s. forces abroad. they wear the neck is to chicago anarchists and make his name that way and he had no interest in doing that. >> even though she didn't really believe in the legitimacy of the ogovernment she liked to take people to court. >> she had a couple of high-profile love affairs go wrong where she did drag her lovers into court, and it was very messy. at one point albert ran away from home and her relationship to the authoritieses could be me i guess we could say. >> said, her profile seems to
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have risen. your book will help raise thee profile in the mindset. there is a group of that works on collecting data about the police conduconduct in others ad there is a center in boston that is a radical bookstore. even in the protests on the streets in chicago sometimes you will see someone holding a sign that has an image. >> it's the spanish namens i think. >> that is one of the most revealing things is that they decided in chicago under richard daley that they didn't have parks named after the minorities and t women said they saw both tickets and the police union
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went bonkers because she was connected in the haymarket and at a press conference they said you can't blame her for what her husband did. they have no understanding of the role, she was at least as radical as he was then called for all kinds of murder of the rich but it died down a. a. they still use the name gonzález and then there was a disappointment in the book for some people, lucy had been embraced in this kind of multicultural warrior supposedly indian, latino and black so there's no evidence that she was latino at all. >> she was born in virginia and
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it's not impossible that she could have some native heritage. we do know that t populations mingled and bear in the chesapeake in general but that wasn't her claim her claim is that she was mexican and speed to [inaudible] thinking about that question there's a couple answers, she was struck in the hearts of the chicago authorities and she delighted at that. they lived a life of what i can tell the bruzual list. they were very devoted to each
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other, very fashionable, they liked to dress well. he dyed his hair black so that he would stay youthful looking. they were both very vain so just think of her as a terrorist, someone who would actually cause violence or use violence herself but she and albert did hope that the authorities would be terrorized by this. >> it may be time to take some questions if anyone has any. there's microphones there if you want to feel free to come ask questions about this amazing chicago. >> the arc from lucy to the mailing controversy, is that progress or is that --
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>> much harsher measures were necessary. she would say how much good has this done. in the reformrosts she wanted to get into the mix of things while they announce the oppressor. so i'm not sure how she would have viewed this. >> i was wondering where in the park is dislocated? it is just a small part of. thank you for very good work in today's talk. one thing i look to in these biographies is the use of legal
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sources and your use of them in the state finals wn lucy died in 1942 is very good. they met in the 19 teens around 1913 or 14. they lived together at her dad's come it was a fire that overcame the kitchen stove.
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she died in at the man of the house rushed in to try to save her from his badly burned and survived a day or two and that he died as well and for what we can tell some of the police alongs with the agents did this come to her home because she had a fabulous library of radical writings and history, political ideology and theory and no one what happened to those books but i will say that when asked if i was writing this book, i had an e-mail from someone who said they bought a book at auction and described by the great socialist when she visitedd london and on the book
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was stamped a couple of things, property of the federal bureau investigation to a department of justice and another was duplicate library of congress.
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a what was the one thing that you found in your research that just blew you away? there are y so many fascinating aspects. what made you go in the >> i mentioned that she was a fierce defender. there was a fierceness she wasn't an easy person to get along with. people who knew her said they didn't think she had much of a sense of humor the social niceties. at the age of 89 it was her
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resilience and faith that there would be a revolution someday she had a strong constitution. her through untold horrors. one of the mysteries of the remains her life and enslavement of what she saw and suffered during those years. so what effect it had o that har later advice i'm not sure but she had a kind of tenaciousness that really was amazing. one of the most famous quotes associated is when they say she
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was more frightening than a thousand writers. >> i don't think that was ever said. there've been several accounts that may have been taken from one of those. i worked with many databases you can plug in the name and get hundreds if not thousands of articles and pieces and i've never been able to locate that phrase. >> people did much more today either of the newspapers made them poor often people would just make up quotes and attribute them to somebody. there's a lot of fake news and
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as you've demonstrated, lucy was inventing her own false facts. how has the reaction been on the book? stanek at other people didn't know wholy she was. they never heard of her and they find her fascinating. i think some people have been disappointed that i didn't take a more laudatory approach in other words someone described this as a very unsentimental biography because i really wanted to find out who she was and there are certainly aspects of her character and family life that are not particularly admirable and also i don't think she was the ideologue people wanted her to be. she wrote about an anarchy as
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i'm. if you are reading in history if you are reading history to find evidence of the civil rights activists this is not the book even though she was born to an enslaved women if you're looking for the ministry of latinas in the country again, lucy parsons wasn't one of them. >> thank you so much for describing her so well and for revealing new things. it is really remarkable when somebody can write about somebody that lived a hundred years ago and revealed new facts. there is much to be admired. thank you for that. [applause]
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>> thank you for attending this program. thed book can be purchased and assigned outside the auditorium
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>> i was in los angeles than at the time i was at channel 13 into the rodney king riots happened. we were where the studios are located in at the time i was a
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member of the first black church in southentr la, a wonderful community and so i wanted to be creative with my people so i suggested to the news director. go down there and i will send a crew. i went to the church and people kept coming and suddenly i started getting hairy. we could hear gunfire at the
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back of the church we could hear the cars in the parking lot covered with ash. they said we can't get a crew in there it is too dangerous. they won't let anybody in. so i was standing with a couple of ministers and someone turned to me and said how are you going to get out of here. i was the only white person there, one of the only white people in the congregation. i said my car is right here in the face witandthey said no you. the two main measures were trying to figure out as a political scientist who's the most influential justice and who
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writes the most majority opinions in significant cases and this is a polital science case. by that measure scalia was in mostheinfluential justice it was in those majorities there were a lot of positions that they didn't write him off and td they were written by others. it was how he was trying to say it but didn't let him get 25 but the other way that few measure influences by looking at who is the swing justice.
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he wasn't going to compromise what he thought was the right way to decide the case to get the boat. as i suggested earlier he was very influential through the sheer force of his writing and methodology he kind of moved by the middle of the court and got people talking about the statutes and constitution. you can't write a brief today trying to construe a statute means without first going through the words of the statu statute. but if you go back to the
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eclectic way that these things would go where the courts would go on for five or ten pages he was very influential but not in the way that we talk about influential justice. >> next on booktv after words were retraces the transition to the politics in this interview to the syndicated columnist mo mona. >> host: bil bill press, you hae a new book from the left. it is a memoir as well as a testimonial about


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