Ben Turner

Summer is a great time for catching up, relaxing, exploring, starting new projects, or perhaps completing work in progress. Reading, of course, is key to all of these. With this in mind, we asked the librarians at St. John’s about books they will be reading over the next few months. The library has put up a display featuring the responses we received — it’s on the 3rd floor of St. Augustine Hall. We’ll be posting the individual entries here throughout the summer.

 Ben Turner, an associate professor in the library’s Instructional Services section, writes:

 One book that I am looking forward to reading this summer is More Powerful than Dynamite: Radicals, Plutocrats, Progressives, and New York’s Year of Anarchy, by Thai Jones.  The author explores a time when New York was a hotbed of radical politics, when tens of thousands of its residents were members of labor unions, and anarchists regularly held well-attended rallies at Union Square and other public venue. The year referred to in the title is 1914, a year of notable conflict between capital and labor, when anarchists plotted (unsuccessfully) to bomb the apartment of John D. Rockefeller, Jr. for his complicity in the massacre of striking coal miners and their family members in Ludlow, Colorado.

 I was initially drawn to this book because I teach about the Red Scare in my section of Discover New York. It is a highly entertaining read, and I would recommend it to anyone with an interest in NYC history.