An immigrant woman’s life from the Pale of Settlement To the Wobblies
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 21, 2018 5:30-6:30 P.M.
108 Civic Plaza Drive, Taos, NM 87571
FMI call SOMOS at 575-758-0081
Matilda Rabinowitz (1887–1963) immigrated to the United States from Ukraine at the age of thirteen. Radicalized by her experience in sweatshops, she became an organizer for Industrial Workers of the World from 1912 to 1914. “Big Bill” Haywood (a member with Elizabeth Gurley Flynn of Mabel Dodge’s salon) once wrote, “a book could be written about Matilda,” but her memoir was intended as a private story for her grandchildren, Robbin Légère Henderson among them. Henderson’s drawings illustrate Rabinowitz’s life in the Pale of Settlement, the journey to America, political awakening, work as an organizer, a turbulent romance, and her struggle to support herself and her child.
IWW LABOR ORGANIZER “Matilda Rabinowitz lived an extraordinary life, and this is an extraordinary document. Her memoirs, vivid and precise, are a vital contribution to the history of American radicalism, and more urgently relevant than ever. Robbin Légère
Henderson’s illustrations are nothing less than a marvel.”
—Ben Ehrenreich, author of The Way to the Spring
EMANCIPATED WOMAN “Matilda Rabinowitz, early twentieth-
century socialist and traveling IWW organizer, had a hard immigrant life, moving from one job to another, dedicated to the struggle but dragged down by love for the wrong man. Her unpublished memoir has been resurrected by her granddaughter, and the result has enough social and economic detail for any labor historian...”
—Meredith Tax, author of The Rising of the Women
IMMIGRANT “This amazing project... is a story of family separation
and reunion not over great distances, but across a gulf of time. This book
is a precious history. It is a partnership between a writer and a visual
artist, and ultimately it is a collaboration between the twentieth and
—Renny Pritikin, Chief Curator, Contemporary Jewish Museum