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Labor Day Lecture

Barry McNamara
09/05/2010
Simon Cordery, associate professor of history at Monmouth College and author of the new biography “Mother Jones: Raising Cain and Consciousness,” will present MC’s third annual Labor Day lecture on Sept. 6.

Free and open to the public, his lecture will be presented on at 7 p.m. in the Barnes Electronic Classroom on the lower level of Hewes Library. It is titled “Mother Jones: Labor’s Conscience and the Workers’ Champion.”

Earlier this year, Cordery’s 220-page biography on Jones was published by the University of New Mexico Press. Available through all major outlets, it is the fourth biography in a UNM Press series profiling significant women in American history.

Cordery said he teaches about Jones in his Monmouth College courses because “She allows us to talk about a wide range of issues in American life from 1860 to 1930, including the Gilded Age, the Progressive Era and the modern labor movement.”

Jones’s reputation as a labor leader and her efforts on behalf of mine workers, in particular, cemented her national fame.

“From 1900 to 1925, she was very rarely out of the public eye. Every time she went to a strike, the press reported it,” said Cordery of Jones, who was often referred to as “the most dangerous woman in America.”

Cordery, who joined the Monmouth faculty in 1994, received his doctorate in history from the University of Texas. His dissertation, which was about railway friendly societies in Britain during the 19th century, led to his book, “British Friendly Societies, 1750-1914.” He called the Mother Jones biography a “continuation” of his writings on the labor movement.

Cordery’s talk will be followed by the first meetings of the academic year of the History Club and Phi Alpha Theta, the history honorary society.