Saturday, February 9, 2008

Archie Green

Wonderful review of the work of Archie Green by Tom Walker in the Journal of Folklore Research

Lore’s Labor’s Lost: Archie Green’s Restoration of Worlds of Labor

Archie Green, our discipline’s grand mentor and progenitor of the study of labor folklore and workers’ expressive culture, turned ninety in 2007. In the last five years he has issued four new books, each bringing to fruition years of research and fieldwork, thinking and dialog. These late editions hone Archie’s unique approach to the study of labor culture--termed “laborlore”--and demonstrate his continuing passion for and refreshing insight into worlds of organized labor. To be sure, the world of organized labor, or more broadly the world of work, is also fraught with tensions and puzzles, from both political and scholarly points of view. In an article published twenty years ago Archie asked, “Who Treasures Tales of Work?” [1] and it is a question that has recurred in different guises throughout his later writing and public work, seeking ultimately, I think, to valorize the culture of work and locate and enlarge the conscious participation of workers in the history and traditions of the work they do....

On the The Big Red Songbook
More than a compendium of Wobbly songs and lore, the songs themselves, like any art form, contain a poetics and politics of the IWW, and new generations will plumb their meanings. This big book also contains many of Archie’s lifelong commitments to the expressive culture of work and workers--the song tradition especially--and to a politics of radical vernacular pluralism. The cultural roots entwined in the early IWW’s anarcho-syndicalism animate much of Archie’s political worldview and steadied him through the tumultuous left sectarianism of the last century.

Tin Men. By Archie Green. 2006. Urbana: University of Illinois Press.

Millwrights in Northern California 1901-2002. 2003. By Archie Green. Oakland: CA: The Northern California Carpenters Regional Council.

Harry Lundeberg's Stetson & Other Nautical Treasures. 2006. By Archie Green. Crockett, CA: Carquinez Press.

The Big Red Songbook. 2007. Edited by Archie Green, David Roediger, Franklin Rosemont, and Salvatore Salerno. Chicago: Charles H. Kerr.

Read the whole review.
[Thanks LCW].

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