Chicago Tribune

Lucy Parsons bio reveals new facts about the birth, ethnicity of the 'Goddess of Anarchy'

"Goddess of Anarchy" by Jacqueline Jones; Basic (480 pages, $32)

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Lucy Parsons, an anarchist firebrand who was one of the most enigmatic Chicagoans ever, might fit in better today than she did during her own time a century ago.

She was a black woman married to a white man. Scandalous then, no big thing now.

She favored an eight-hour workday and a social safety net, positions that made her a radical in the late 1800s but would qualify her for Congress today.

And Parsons had another trait of today's politicians: She was a merchant of misinformation.

"Goddess of Anarchy: The Life and Times of Lucy Parsons, American Radical" is an important new biography by University of Texas historian Jacqueline Jones that fact-checks Parsons'

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