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Immigrants Of The Day: Mother Jones of Ireland, Fareed Zakaria of India, and Herbert Marcuse of Germany

by Kevin R. Johnson

Mother Jones (Ireland)

Mother_jones_19021104 Mary Harris Jones (18301930), better known as Mother Jones, born in Cork, Ireland, was a prominent labor and community organizer. She was born Mary Harris, the daughter of a Roman Catholic tenant farmer, on the northside of Cork city, Ireland.

Forced to support herself, she became involved in the labor movement and joined the Knights of Labor, a predecessor to the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW or "Wobblies"), which she helped found in 1905. Active as an organizer and educator in strikes throughout the country at the time, she was particularly involved with the United Mine Workers (UMW) and the Socialist Party of America. As a union organizer, she gained prominence for organizing the wives and children of striking workers. She became known as "the most dangerous woman in America", a phrase coined by a West Virginia District Attorney named Reese Blizzard in 1902, when she was arrested for violating a labor injunction.

In 1903, Jones organized children working in mills and mines in the "Children's Crusade", a march from Kensington, Pennsylvania to Oyster Bay, New York, the home of President Theodore Roosevelt with banners demanding "We want time to play!" and "We want to go to school!" The incident brought the issue of child labor to public attention. In 1913, during the Paint Creek-Cabin Creek strike in West Virginia, Mother Jones was charged and kept under house arrest in the nearby town of Pratt and subsequently convicted with other union organizers of conspiring to commit murder. Her arrest raised an uproar and she was soon released, after which the U.S. Senate ordered an investigation into the conditions in the local coal mines. A few months later she was in Colorado, helping to organize the coal miners there. Once again she was arrested, served jail time, and was escorted from the State in the months leading up to the Ludlow Massacre. After the massacre she was invited to Standard Oil's headquarters at 26 Broadway to meet face-to-face with John D. Rockefeller, Jr., a meeting that prompted Rockefeller to visit the Colorado mines and introduce long-sought reforms.

Mother Jones remained a union organizer for the UMW affairs into the 1920s, and continued to speak on union affairs almost until her death. She released her own account of her experiences in the labor movement as The Autobiography of Mother Jones (1925).

During her lifetime, Mother Jones was known to working folk as "The Miners' Angel." Her fierce determination was vividly expressed in her famous declaration, "Pray for the dead and fight like hell for the living." When she was denounced on the Senate floor as the "grandmother of all agitators", she replied: "I hope to live long enough to be the great-grandmother of all agitators."

At present, many people know of Mother Jones because her name has been emblazoned for more than three decades on the cover of every issue of Mother Jones magazine.

In her later years, Jones lived with friends Walter and Lillie May Burgess of Silver Spring, Maryland. She celebrated her 100th birthday on May 1, 1930.

Mother Jones is buried in the Union Miners Cemetery in Mount Olive, Illinois, alongside miners who died in the Virden Riot of 1898. She called these miners, killed in strike-related violence, "her boys."

May 19, 2008 | Permalink

Fareed Zakaria (India)

Fareed_zakaria_2007 Fareed Zakaria (born January 20, 1964, Mumbai, India) is a journalist, columnist, author, editor, commentator, and television host specializing in international relations and foreign affairs. For a New York magazine profiile of Zakaria, click here.

Fareed Zakaria was named editor of Newsweek International in October 2000. He writes a weekly foreign affairs column for Newsweek, which appears biweekly in the Washington Post. In 2003, Zakaria published The Future of Freedom: Illiberal Democracy at Home and Abroad (Norton). On television, Zakaria hosted the weekly Foreign Exchange with Fareed Zakaria news show for PBS. From 2002 until 2007, he was a regular member of the roundtable of ABC News's This Week with George Stephanopoulos and an analyst for ABC News. He joined CNN to host a weekly show on international affairs that will premier worldwide on June 1 2008.

Zakaria was born in India. He attended Yale where he was a member of Scroll and Key Society, President of the Yale Political Union, and a member of the Party of the Right. Zakaria received a B.A. from Yale and later graduated with a Ph.D. in Government from Harvard.

Before his current position with Newsweek, Zakaria was managing editor of the magazine Foreign Affairs. Prior to joining Foreign Affairs, Zakaria ran a research project on American foreign policy at Harvard. He has taught courses in international relations and political philosophy at Harvard, Columbia, and Case Western universities.

Zakaria's 2002 essay for The New Yorker on America's global role has been widely quoted, as have several of his Newsweek cover-essays. He is the author of the 1998 book From Wealth to Power: The Unusual Origins of America's World Role (Princeton University Press), his PhD thesis, and co-editor of The American Encounter: The United States and the Making of the Modern World (Basic Books). His book The Future of Freedom, was published in the spring of 2003 and became a bestseller. Zakaria's most recent book, published in May 2008, is called the "The Post-American World", discusses America's role in a world where it is still the superpower in the political-military realm but where economic, industrial, financial, and cultural power is being dispersed around the world.

Zakaria has won several awards for his Newsweek columns, including for his October 2001 Newsweek cover story, "Why They Hate Us."

Zakaria currently serves on the boards of Yale University, the Trilateral Commission, the Council on Foreign Relations, New America Foundation and Columbia University's International House. He currently resides in New York City with his family.

May 20, 2008 | Permalink

Herbert Marcuse (Germany)

Herbert_marcuse_in_newton2c_massach Herbert Marcuse (18981979) was a philosopher and sociologist, and a member of the Frankfurt School. His best known works are Eros and Civilization and One-Dimensional Man.

Born in Berlin. Marcuse served in the German Army during the First World War. After completing his Ph.D. thesis at the University of Freiburg in 1922, he moved back to Berlin, where he worked in publishing. With his academic career blocked by the rise of the Third Reich, Marcuse in 1933 joined the Frankfurt Institute for Social Research, emigrating from Germany that same year, going first to Switzerland before heading to the United States, where he became a naturalized citizen in 1940.

Although he never returned to Germany to live, Marcuse remained one of the major theorists associated with the Frankfurt School. In 1940, he published Reason and Revolution, a dialectical work studying Georg W. F. Hegel and Karl Marx.

During World War II, Marcuse first worked for the U.S. Office of War Information on anti-Nazi propaganda projects. In 1943, he transferred to the Office of Strategic Services. Marcuse next worked for the U.S. Department of State as head of the Central European section. In 1952, he began a teaching career as a political theorist, first at Columbia and Harvard, then at Brandeis University from 1958 to 1965, where he taught philosophy and politics, and finally at the University of California, San Diego.

Marcuse's critiques of capitalist society, especially his synthesis of Marx and Freud, Eros and Civilization (1955), and his book One-Dimensional Man (1964) resonated with the concerns of the student movement in the 1960s. Because of his willingness to speak at student protests, Marcuse soon became known as "the father of the New Left in the United States."  Many radical scholars and activists of the '60s were influenced by Marcuse, such as Angela Davis and Abbie Hoffman.

Marcuse's 1965 essay "Repressive Tolerance", in which he claimed capitalist democracies can have totalitarian aspects, has been criticized by conservatives.

For a commprehensive Marcuse website, constructed by one of his grandsons, with full bibliographies of his works, click here.

May 21, 2008 | Permalink

These posts were orginally posted on the ImmigrationProf Blog here, here and here.

About The Author

Kevin R. Johnson is currently Dean, Professor of Law and Chicana/o Studies, and the Mabie-Apallas Public Interest Law Chair holder at the University of California at Davis. He is also one of the editors of ImmigrationProf Blog .

The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of ILW.COM.