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Radical Romance in the Piedmont: Olive Tilford Dargan's Gastonia Novels

Radical Romance in the Piedmont: Olive Tilford Dargan's Gastonia Novels Radical Romance in the Piedmont: Olive Tilford Dargan's Gastonia Novels by Laurie J. C. Cella In 1929, the National Textile Workers Union led a violent strike in Gastonia, North Carolina that caught the attention of the national and international media. At that time, the Piedmont region was particularly resistant to union organizing and the Communist-led NTWU pushed boundaries even further by attempting to unionize across racial divides. Increased violence on the picket line led to the murders of Police Chief Orville F. Anderholt and a popular strike leader named Ella May Wiggins. When NTWU leaders Fred Beal and Vera Buch were accused of Anderholt's murder, the liberal media quickly connected this southern trial to that of anarchists Sacco and Venzetti, two Italian immigrants whose trial and execution solidified their place as labor heroes. The Labor Defender and New Masses featured Wiggins's plight as a single mother, raising her children on her meager salary; her death at the hands of management thugs quickly captured the imagination of the American public. Because women like Ella May Wiggins and Vera Buch became instant heroines, the Gastonia labor struggle became a symbol of the strength, courage, and tenacity of women workers in http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Southern Literary Journal University of North Carolina Press

Radical Romance in the Piedmont: Olive Tilford Dargan's Gastonia Novels

The Southern Literary Journal , Volume 39 (2) – Jul 23, 2007

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Publisher
University of North Carolina Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2007 by the Southern Literary Journal and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Department of English. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1534-1461
Publisher site
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Abstract

Radical Romance in the Piedmont: Olive Tilford Dargan's Gastonia Novels by Laurie J. C. Cella In 1929, the National Textile Workers Union led a violent strike in Gastonia, North Carolina that caught the attention of the national and international media. At that time, the Piedmont region was particularly resistant to union organizing and the Communist-led NTWU pushed boundaries even further by attempting to unionize across racial divides. Increased violence on the picket line led to the murders of Police Chief Orville F. Anderholt and a popular strike leader named Ella May Wiggins. When NTWU leaders Fred Beal and Vera Buch were accused of Anderholt's murder, the liberal media quickly connected this southern trial to that of anarchists Sacco and Venzetti, two Italian immigrants whose trial and execution solidified their place as labor heroes. The Labor Defender and New Masses featured Wiggins's plight as a single mother, raising her children on her meager salary; her death at the hands of management thugs quickly captured the imagination of the American public. Because women like Ella May Wiggins and Vera Buch became instant heroines, the Gastonia labor struggle became a symbol of the strength, courage, and tenacity of women workers in

Journal

The Southern Literary JournalUniversity of North Carolina Press

Published: Jul 23, 2007

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