• The Edge of Anarchy

  • The Railroad Barons, the Gilded Age, and the Greatest Labor Uprising in America
  • By: Jack Kelly
  • Narrated by: Traber Burns
  • Length: 11 hrs and 15 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (66 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The dramatic story of the explosive 1894 clash of industry, labor, and government that shook the nation and marked a turning point for America

The Edge of Anarchy offers a vivid account of the greatest uprising of working people in American history. At the pinnacle of the Gilded Age, a boycott of Pullman sleeping cars by hundreds of thousands of railroad employees brought commerce to a standstill across much of the country. Famine threatened, riots broke out along the rail lines. Soon the US Army was on the march and gunfire rang from the streets of major cities. 

This epochal tale offers fascinating portraits of two iconic characters of the age. George Pullman, who amassed a fortune by making train travel a pleasure, thought the model town that he built for his workers would erase urban squalor. Eugene Debs, founder of the nation's first industrial union, was determined to wrench power away from the reigning plutocrats. The clash between the two men's conflicting ideals pushed the country to what the US attorney general called "the ragged edge of anarchy."

Many of the themes of The Edge of Anarchy could be taken from today's headlines - upheaval in America's industrial heartland, wage stagnation, breakneck technological change, and festering conflict over race, immigration, and inequality. With the country now in a New Gilded Age, this look back at the violent conflict of an earlier era offers illuminating perspectives along with a breathtaking story of a nation on the edge.

©2019 Jack Kelly (P)2019 Blackstone Publishing
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

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Wow! every workingman should read.

Great book on this turbulent time in American history. Eugene Debs was a great leader and was a true man of the working people. Everyone should know about Debs and this history. Its so relevant with how ignorant the working class is today. every worker that reads this history is one step closer to getting up off his/her knees in a time when capitalism is trampling all over the working class. great book. A+!

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Teach this in schools

or make a TV show or movie about it so people actually pay attention. The situation they were in rings true, right now, November, 29th, 2021. We always have the numbers. Stick together, stand strong, eat the rich.

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Know Thy Enemy

I am a model railroader. I love to study the history of the industry. I am also intellectually and spiritually attuned to the use of history and intrigue to propel propaganda. Beware. This book offers both intellectual stimulation, historical contextual agitation, and in the final chapters, affirmation of the propagation of a political philosophy rooted in secular humanism. Again beware, but be aware and relish the stimulating revelation of thy enemy.

“The latter 19th Century labor conflicts hinges upon the question whether American creed rests on Individualism and Private Property versus Solidarity grounded in Equality and Mutual Sympathy.”

This restated quote from the 29th chapter written by Jack Kelly, in railroad story context, reveals the false dichotomy erected by Secular Humanism in its antipathy toward Divine Authority.

Union Socialist Eugene Debs professed his agnosticism blended with his ethical enlightenment.

Capitalist tycoon George Pullman practiced personal charity mixed with resolute principles of initiative and ingenuity producing unbridled reward.

Secular Humanism often draws upon tiny morsels of ethical adherence to principles derived from studying Nature. But it’s aim and end never deviates from Man on the Throne versus God on the Throne.

The result of pursuing the former invariably results in chaos and trauma, regardless of the “good intentions” or superiority inferred by the proponents’ supposed heightened intellect.

Pursuing the latter, a world on bended knee before the Throne of God, also results in scorn, ridicule and antipathy due principally to the sinful, fallen nature of this world.

Yet it is the individually redeemed and reformed hearts of men that can reveal the false dichotomy of secular humanism and yearn to live lives that celebrate the Individual’s created nature in the image of God, the blessings of possession of the fruits of labor and ingenuity, and the solidarity of brotherhood out of love and humility that lends itself to celebrating equality while serving brotherhood out of empathy and sympathy.

My last paragraph is the antithesis to Jack Kelly’s thesis, restated in paragraph two. All in all, I am enriched by listening to this book and I highly recommend it to all who will proceed with intellectual and spiritual caution.

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Relevant

I won't say it was the most exciting book I've ever read, but I feel in this day and age, it is relevant.