Dynamite and Roses, by Robert Benedetti

Dynamite and Roses, by Robert Benedetti

Dynamite and Roses, by Robert Benedetti, subtitled 'Lucy and Albert Parsons and the Haymarket Bombing Chicago 1886'

Published by Charles H. Kerr of Chicago in 2010, 352 pages. Paperback (S6806)

From the rear side cover: Workers' militias, bombs, anarchists, unions, the struggle for the eight-hour day culminating in the Haymarket riot set in fire-ravaged Chicago. This is the true story of Lucy and Albert Parsons, and the political storm that swirled around them and the men who were hung for practicing free speech too recklessly.

The tale begins with the arrival of Lucy and Albert in Chicago where relief money sent to support the poor and homeless was being spent by wealthy robber barons instead of getting to the people who needed it. Lucy and Albert were fleeing from the Klan in Waco, Texas. Lucy a mixed race woman who defied the racists and Albert, a newspaper editor and supporter of Reconstruction immediately took up the cause of the exploited workers in Chicago. They edited and published an anarchist newspaper the Alarm that advocated fighting back against the bosses even if they had to use dynamite for self-defense.

Benedetti's narrative is both vigorous and engrossing. Presenting their story in fictional style he uses documents, biographic materials, court records, and first person accounts to recreate dialog and action that is history, a history that is swiftly paced and alive with all the drama of frantic real life.

The condition of the book is generally very good. The cover has one or two minor scuffs but is clean and bright, the spine is tight and intact, and all pages are clean, intact, unblemished and tightly bound.