Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist

March 30, 2018

Great Cowboy Strike: Bullets, Ballots, & Class Conflicts in the American West

Filed under: Counterpunch,workers — louisproyect @ 4:02 pm

COUNTERPUNCH, March 30, 2018

While not a school in the same exact way as the NHC, the historians grouped around the Labor and Working Class History Association(LAWCHA) website have set themselves to the task of promoting “public and scholarly awareness of labor and working-class history through research, writing, and organizing.” Among its members is Chad Pearson, whose “Reform or Repression: Organizing America’s Anti-Union Movement” helps us understand the threat posed by Janus today even if the period covered in the book is over a century ago.

Pearson’s LAWCHA colleague Mark A. Lause, a civil war era historian just like the NHC’ers, has just come out with a new book titled “The Great Cowboy Strike: Bullets, Ballots, & Class Conflicts in the American West” that should be of keen interest to CounterPunch readers. Since American society is guided by notions of “rugged individualism” embodied in the old West, it is high time for that mythology to be put to rest. Reading Lause’s magisterial account will leave you with only one conclusion: Billy the Kid had more in common with Occupy Wall Street than he did with faux cowboys like Ronald Reagan chopping wood and George W. Bush clearing bush in their respective ranches. In fact, he was more likely to put a bullet in their counterparts way back then.

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  1. Very interesting stuff–not the usual Counterpunch fare.

    Comment by Farans Kalosar — March 30, 2018 @ 5:15 pm

  2. If Billy the Kid was progressive, tut equally well known Jesse James was a confederate partisan who never gave up the “lost cause” even after the South was defeated. He unleashed a wave of racist and reactionary terror that remains infamous to this day.

    Comment by Rebase — April 11, 2018 @ 5:59 am

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