On May 4, 1886, a bomb exploded at a Chicago labor rally at Haymarket
Square, wounding dozens of policemen, seven of whom eventually died. A wave of mass hysteria swept the country, leading to a sensational trial, that culminated in four controversial executions, and dealt a blow to the labor movement
from which it would take decades to recover. Historian James Green recounts the rise of the first great labor movement in the wake of the Civil War and brings to life an epic twenty-year struggle for the eight-hour
workday. Blending a gripping narrative, outsized characters and a panoramic portrait of a major social movement, Death in the Haymarket
is an important addition to the history of American capitalism and a moving story about the class tensions at the heart of Gilded Age America.
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The Haymarket Square Riot was a confrontation in Chicago that followed a peaceful labor demonstration in 1886 during which several people died. The American labor movement began tentatively during the Industrial Revolution and reached maturity during the New Deal with the support of and for FDR.