Howard Zinn Chapter 13

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Chapter 13
Zinn opens chapter with the recognition that “war and jingoism might postpone, but could not fully suppress, the class anger that came from the realities of ordinary life”.  Despite the brief interlude that momentarily quelled class conflict, the issues at home had never been resolved and resurfaced with a vengeance.  More and more writers were writing from a Socialist mindset:  Upton Sinclair published The Jungle in 1906, as a commentary on Chicago’s meatpacking industry. In writing the book, Sinclair was influenced by writers like Jack London, a Socialist who had grown up in poverty in the Bay Area.  London publish The Iron Heel in 1906, warning Americans about fascism and indicts the capitalist system” In the face of the facts that modern man lives more wretchedly than the cave-man, and that his producing power is a thousand times greater than that of the cave-man, no other conclusion is possible than that the capitalist class has mismanaged criminally and selfishly mismanaged”.  Even an exiled Henry James condemned the U.S. when he visited in 1904.  The corrupt actions of the American government and business elite were on the lips of activists, writers, and artists around the world Socialism couldn’t help but spread. One of the most notable labor incidents in this era occurred at the Triangle Shirtwaist Company.  New York had more than 500 garment factories, mostly staffed by women, and the conditions in all were equally as deplorable. In the winter of 1909, women at the Triangle Shirtwaist Co. organized a strike, they were doubtful that many more than 3,000 women would turn out with the cold weather and not all the factories participating, but more than 20,000 showed up.  The recently organized Ladies Garment Workers Union was growing by the thousand every day.  The strike went on through the winter, despite police, arrests, scabs and prison.” In more than three hundred shops, workers won their demands.  Women now became officials in the union....
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