Coxey's Army: Background information when reading A Moment in the Sun

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A Moment in the Sun

by John Sayles

A Moment in the Sun
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  • First Published:
    May 2011, 968 pages
    Feb 2012, 968 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Micah Gell-Redman

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About this Book

Beyond the Book:
Coxey's Army

In John Sayles's A Moment in the Sun, Hod Brackenridge's colorful past is marked most deeply by his participation in a working class uprising. A group of men, inspired by Populist rhetoric, hijack a train car in an attempt to bring their economic grievances to the nation's capital.

Turn-of-the-century America was fraught with class conflicts of this sort, some of which exploded in violent strikes and protests. In 1894, Jacob Coxey - a wealthy Ohio businessman - headed an "Industrial Army" of diverse men and women, who were dissatisfied with "the federal government's inaction in the face of economic crisis."

Coxey's Army

Though many promised to march on Washington DC, only a small number fulfilled the commitment. "Coxey himself, predicting that he would arrive at Washington with 100,000 unemployed men, never had more than 300 men on the road with him at any given time, and had only about 1000 men waiting for him in Washington made up of other 'armies' who believed in his cause...

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