Elizabeth Gurley Flynn is one of those little girls who grew up to be a Jane Addams, or a Harriet Beecher Stowe, or an Emma Goldman, or a Susan B. Anthony, or a Mother Jones, or a Florence Nightingale, or a Margaret B. Sanger or a Rosa Parks, or a Sojourner Truth or - I suppose one could even say - a Joan of Ark. All these little girls are either good or evil depending on your point of view. Elizabeth Gurley Flynn is not so well known as some of these others because she was an American Communist. American Communists do not get a lot of space in American history books, whether they are male or female. She was, first a Socialist, and then a Communist. Ms. Flynn was an American, born and bread, Communist and proud of it. In The Rebel Girl, an autobiography, she puts it this way; “Many have written as ex-Communists. This second book will be the story of an active American Communist and one who is proud of it. No matter what are the consequences, ‘I will never move from where I stand.’... I feel it is important for me to set down here my personal recollections of this earlier part of the century, a period full of heroic struggles on the part of the working class, especially the foreign born. As the reader will see, the years 1906 to 1926 were full of ‘force and violence’ used by the ruling class in America against the workers, who gave their lives, shed their blood, were beaten, jailed, blacklisted and framed, as they fought for the right to organize, to strike and to picket. Struggles for a few cents more an hour, for a few minutes less a day - were long and bitterly fought. Nothing was handed on a silver platter to the American working class by employers. All of their hard-won gains came through their own efforts and solidarity. “It was my privilege to be identified with many of these earlier labor struggles and the heroic men and women, particularly of the “Left” who made labor history in those days. I feel I have a responsibility to share my memories of them with younger generations and to make this record of their noble words and deeds. They were flesh and blood of the American working class. I hope that this book will help to encourage and inspire others to follow in their footsteps, not only along the path they made wider, smoother and clearer for us today, but to travel far beyond, towards the horizons they glimpsed - peace on earth, and an America free from poverty, exploitation, greed and injustice. Except for a couple of words and phrases - i.e. working class, exploitation - Elizabeth sounds pretty American to me. I picked up a copy of this book in the United States of America - at a National Historic Park in Lowell, Massachusetts. Lowell National Historic Park is a preserved textile mill. You can walk around the streets of Lowell and go from huge mill building to mill building and see actual operating machines from America’s Industrial Revolution. It was quite an adventure. I watched a movie while there about the New England Industrial Revolution and the establishment of the textile industry here in America, and specifically in Lowell, Lawrence, and Haverhill, back in the mid-eighteen hundreds. The story that was related was not very flattering to this country’s economic history or its industrial entrepreneurs. I have the strong feeling that if J. Edgar Hoover were alive and functioning at the FBI today he would be investigating the curators of this National Historic Park for their un-American propagation of anti-American propaganda. Some of the Capitalists who were pointed out in this film were actually portrayed as not very nice people. Then I went to the little bookstore in the complex and picked out a book written by a “proud” American Communist who was alive and kicking until the year 1964. She was a well read woman who was alive and knew all about the Russian Revolution, Lenin, Stalin, World War I, World War II and Korea, and even the beginnings of Vietnam, and she was still proud to be a Communist? Makes one curious doesn’t it? What did she know that I don’t know; or I know that she didn’t know? There were many other books of a subversive nature on sale at that little bookstore also. I’m sure A. Mitchell Palmer, J. Edgar Hoover, Joe McCarthy and even Woodrow Wilson would not approve if they were alive and kicking today. History speaks volumes, but it doesn’t speak on its own. It doesn’t explain the past - history provides the statistics, the figures, the numbers, the events and even the details - but we must be the interpreters. But before we can interpret it; we must read it; in some cases we must find it. It wasn’t long ago that the only woman of any consequence in American history books was poor Barbara Fritchie; the only black man of consequence was George Washington Carver (the peanut guy); the Indians were savages who met their enlightenment or were saved from their ignorance and savagery by the wondrous and magnanimous European; and now we have somehow returned to the notion once held by the Romans and Alexander the Murderer that peace on earth and good will toward man is established by the sword. Today, I am being taught that Jesus Christ was actually a practitioner in this philosophy and will return one day to conquer the world with his sword - kill all the bad guys and make angels out of all the good guys. But Elizabeth Gurley Flynn was a Communist - and proud of it. She was tried under the Smith Act in 1952. The trial took place in Foley Square in New York. She was found guilty and sent to Alderson Reformatory in West Virginia in 1955 and was released in 1957. She wrote a book about her stay in prison, The Alderson Story: My Life as a Political Prisoner. Strange - one does not think of America as having Political Prisoners. Her picture is on the cover of this book. She looks pretty, petite and tiny. She has the face of many a little Irish girl who sat on one side or another of me in the classrooms of my youth. She has the face of a nun. She was born in 1890 in Concord, New Hampshire. I first discovered her name while researching a famous labor strike that took place in 1912 in my hometown of Lawrence, Massachusetts The Bread and Roses Strike. She was at first a Socialist and then an IWW agitator. She knew and was one of the big labor “troublemakers” of her time. She was an associate of Mother Jones, Big Bill Haywood, Vincent St. John, and Eugene V. Debs, among many others. She was one of Teddy Roosevelt’s, Undesirable Citizens. She gave speeches around the nation to burley truck drivers, mine workers, mill workers, and railroad men. She was exciting crowds in Lawrence, Paterson, Pittsburgh, and the Mesabi Range. She was fighting for free speech in Montana and the Constitution in Spokane. She was in and out of prison while at the same time, being a girl, falling in love and having a baby. When I read about girls like this Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, I wonder where they have all gone. For that matter, I wonder where all of the champions of the Common Man have gone - male and female. Today is full of a brave new world of defenders of the fat and sassy, the well off, the elite and obnoxious, the rich and the I-want-to-be-richer. The psychiatric counseling in today’s world is for those who suffer “irrational” guilt from their overindulgence in one thing or another. “Tell me,” asks the Psychiatric therapist, why do you feel sorry for the poor, do you somehow feel that you are the cause of poverty?” As far as I can see, this country seems to be packed to the brim with the same old social abuses - poverty, slums, addictions of one type or another, child abuse, people abuse in general, lack of health care, violence and crime, dysfunctional families, and social disorganization of one type or another; yet nobody seems to be all that concerned. Even our literature is primarily escapist fantasy or works lacking in any consequence or socially redeeming value. Is it that the human race is simply tired of trying to make the world a better place?
Books by Richard Edward Noble. Click on covers below for more info and purchasing instructions.
Classic Tragic Novel
Don't Laugh - This Could Have Been Your Life
Funny stories and some strange characters.
Monkey Dishes and Cocktail Fawks
My Harrowing days in the restaurant business. Great Read.
It's a Long Story
Long Short Fiction - Great stories!
Bloggin' Be My Life
"Bloggin' be My Life" contains a selection of some of my more popular Hobo Philosopher blogs.If you enjoy reading this blog, you should love Bloggin' Be My Life.
It's All About Love
It's All About Love is ... all about love. This is the 2nd book of poetry from The Bard From Chelmsford off Arlington. Every poem in this book comes with a prose introduction. If you enjoy poetry this is a simple choice. Have fun!
A Little Something
Traditional poetry from The Bard From Chelmsford Off Arlington with some poignant prose introductions. If you enjoy any type of poetry, you will enjoy this volume. Thanks.
Talking To Myself
This is my third book of poetry.
Bits and Pieces
The Hobo Philosopher - My first book using the Hobo Philosopher brand. Featuring a variety of writing styles and ideas. Look for the Thoughtful Hobo on the cover.
A Baker's Dozen
The Hobo Philosopher: My Second book of Fiction, Creative Non-Fiction and Short Stories. All varieties of short stories - lots of laughs!
Cat Point - and Them Dang Oyster People
Cat Point is the sequel to "The Eastpointer." Both books contain humorous tales about life in a fishing community on the Florida Panhandle. Lots of laughs.
Won 1st Place award for humor in 2007 from Florida Press Association. More wit, wisdom and humor from the yet to be world famous author, R.E. Noble
A Summer with Charlie - Lawrence
Fiction - Salisbury Beach, Lawrence, Mass. Featured in Merrimack Valley Magazine July /Aug. issue 2010
Travel, Humor, Commentary on migrant farm work and illegal immigration still very pertinent today.
"Just Hangin' Out Ma"
Thank God for the Street Corners of Lawrence, Mass. Anecdotes and humorous escapades about growing up in an industrial mill town in the 40s,50s and 60s.
This is the sequel to "Just Hangin' Out, Ma"
That Old Gang of Mine
This is # 3 in my Lawrence Hometown series. The series is about growing up in the 40's, 50's and 60's in an industrial mill town. Sorta like a Huck Finn goes to vist Uncle Ralph, the bus driver, who lives in a big, rundown city. Lots of fun.
Come On-A My House
This is # 4 in my Lawrence Hometown series.The old homested at 32 Chelmsford ST is pictured on the cover..
Down By The Old Mill Stream
# 5 in the Lawrence My Hometown series.
Standing on the Corner is # 6 in the lawrence My Hometown series.
The old Howard Playstead on Lawrence St.
Eat, Drink and Be Merry
# 7 in the Lawrence my Hometown series.
Honor Thy Father and Thy Mother
Classic tragic novel written from child's perspective. Deals with abuse, poverty, unemployment. Pulls no punches.
Noble Notes on Famous Folks
Humorous, satirical notes on everybody from Constantine to Bill Clinton. Inspiration: Willy Cuppy.
America on Strike
History - documented survey of labor strikes in America
Mein Kampf - An Analysis of Book One
Who are the American Nazis - the Liberals or the Conservatives?
MY NAME IS RICHARD EDWARD NOBLE. I AM A FREELANCE WRITER AND I HAVE PUBLISHED 12 BOOKS:"THE EASTPOINTER" - SELECTIONS FROM AWARD WINNING NEWSPAPER COLUMN - "A LITTLE SOMETHING" - POETRY WITH PROSE -"HONOR THY FATHER AND THY MOTHER" - A NOVEL ABOUT GROWING UP IN THE NEW ENGLAND MILL TOWN OF LAWRENCE, MASS, "HOBO-ING AMERICA" - A WORKINGMAN'S TOUR OF THE U.S.A. - "A SUMMER WITH CHARLIE" - THE STORY OF A YOUNG SAILOR'S LAST DAYS AT SALISBURY BEACH, "NOBLE NOTES ON FAMOUS FOLKS" - HUMOROUS ANECDOTES ON FAMOUS FOLKS IN HISTORY,
"AMERICA ON STRIKE" HISTORY BOOK - A SURVEY OF LABOR STRIKES IN AMERICA; "A BAKER'S DOZEN" A BOOK OF HUMOROUS SHORT STORIES; "JUST HANGIN' OUT, MA" - GROWING UP IN THE 40'S, 50'S AND 60'S IN LAWRENCE, MY HOMETOWN, "TENEMENT DWELLERS" - SEQUEL TO JUST HANGIN OUT, MA; MEIN KAMPF - ANALYSIS OF BOOK ONE - HISTORY. CAT POINT - AND THEM DANG OYSTER PEOPLE - SEQUEL TO THE EASTPOINTER
All 12 BOOKS ARE AVAILABLE ON AMAZON.COM, BARNES AND NOBLE AND OTHER INTERNET SOURCES OR FROM NOBLE PUBLISHING. ALL 12 OF MY BOOKS ARE NOW ON KINDLE AT BARGAIN PRICES TOO. IF YOU WOULD LIKE MORE INFORMATION ABOUT DISCOUNTS AND SPECIAL OFFERS E-MAIL ME. MY EMAIL IS ON MY PROFILE PAGE.