The Pacific Northwest was a hotbed of labor radicalism in the early twentieth century, where the revolutionary Industrial Workers of the World (commonly known as the “Wobblies”) fought for better working conditions for all workers regardless of race, sex, or creed. The historian Heather Mayer
takes a new look at the well-worn vision of the Wobblies as predominately radical young, itinerant men. Her new book Beyond the Rebel Girl: Women and the Industrial Workers of the World in the Pacific Northwest, 1905-1924
(Oregon State University Press, 2018) finds women played a crucial role in the politics of the union. These women expanded the radical vision of the union beyond the workplace to include birth control, sexual emancipation, and freedom of choice in marriage.
Ryan Driskell Tate is a Ph.D. candidate in American history at Rutgers University. He teaches courses on modern US history, environmental history, and histories of labor and capitalism. He is completing a book on energy development in the American West. @rydriskelltate