• Dean Strang, author of "Keep the Wretches in Order"

    • Share:
    Name: Dean Strang, author of "Keep the Wretches in Order"
    Date: July 28, 2019
    Time: 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM CDT
    Event Description:
    Madison attorney and author Dean Strang discusses his book Keep the Wretches in Order: America's Biggest Mass Trial, the Rise of the Justice Department, and the fall of the IWW (The University of Wisconsin Press).

    Before WW I, the government reaction to labor dissent had been local, ad hoc, and quasi-military. Sheriffs, mayors, or governors would elevate strikebreakers to deputies or call out the state militia, usually at the bidding of employers. 

    At the time one of the nation's largest unions was the Industrial Workers of the World, also known as the Wobblies. The IWW had members in critical industries across the country. In April, 1917, when the United States entered the war, the government feared the threat of a labor strike from such a large number of workers could endanger or even halt war production. Officials in the relatively young Department of Justice determined that a more coordinated strategy would be necessary, so they embarked on a sweeping new effort—replacing gunmen with lawyers. The department systematically targeted the IWW, resulting in the largest mass trial in U.S. history that took place in Chicago, in September of 1917.

    In the first legal history of this landmark federal trial, Dean Strang shows how the case laid the groundwork for a fundamentally different strategy to stifle radical threats and played a major role in shaping the modern Justice Department.
    Arcadia Books
    102 E. Jefferson Street
    Spring Green, WI 53588
    Date/Time Information:
    Sunday, July 28 at 3:00 p.m.
    Contact Information:
    Arcadia Books
    Free event and open to the public. Handicap accessibility.
    Set a Reminder:
    Enter your email address below to receive a reminder message.