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From the Bottom Up The Life Story of Alexander Irvine   By: (1863-1941)

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First Page:


The Life Story of Alexander Irvine


[Illustration: Alexander Irvine, 1909. Photograph by Vanderweyde]

New York Doubleday, Page & Company 1910 All Rights Reserved, Including that of Translation into Foreign Languages, Including the Scandinavian Copyright, 1909, 1910 by Doubleday, Page & Company Published, February, 1910




CHAPTER PAGE I. Boyhood in Ireland 3

II. The Beginning of an Education 24

III. On Board a Man o' War 40

IV. Problems and Places 53

V. The Gordon Relief Expedition 63

VI. Beginnings in the New World 82

VII. Fishing for Men on the Bowery 90

VIII. A Bunk house and Some Bunk house Men 105

IX. The Waif's Story 119

X. I Meet Some Outcasts 126

XI. A Church in the Ghetto 144

XII. Working Way Down 156

XIII. Life and Doubt on the Bottoms 166

XIV. My Fight in New Haven 183

XV. A Visit Home 193

XVI. New Haven Again and a Fight 207

XVII. I Join a Labour Union and Have Something to Do with Strikes 213

XVIII. I Become a Socialist 235

XIX. I Introduce Jack London to Yale 250

XX. My Experiences as a Labourer in the Muscle Market of the South 256

XXI. At the Church of the Ascension 274

XXII. My Socialism, My Religion and My Home 285


Alexander Irvine, 1909 Frontispiece

FACING PAGE Mr. Irvine's Birthplace 4

Where Irvine Spent His Boyhood 8

Alexander Irvine as a Marine 38

Officers of H.M.S. "Alexandra" Ashore at Cattaro 50

A Page from Mr. Irvine's Diary 54

Dowling, Tinker and Colporter 110

Alexander Irvine. From a sketch by Juliet Thompson 146

State Convention of the Socialist Party of Connecticut 238

The Lunch Hour in an Interborough Shop 248

Alexander Irvine and Jack London 252

In Muckers' Camp in Alabama 258

Irvine and Three Other Muckers as They Left Greenwich Street for the South 258

Irvine, Punching Logs in the Gulf of Mexico, 1907 270

The Church of the Ascension 276

"Happy Hollow," Mr. Irvine's Present Home Near Peekskill, New York 294

Happy Hollow in the Winter, Looking from the House 298




The world in which I first found myself was a world of hungry people.

My earliest sufferings were the sufferings of hunger physical hunger. It was not an unusual sight to see the children of our neighbourhood scratching the offal in the dunghills and the gutterways for scraps of meat, vegetables, and refuse. Many times I have done it myself.

My father was a shoemaker; but something had gone wrong with the making of shoes. Improvements in machinery are pushed out into the commercial world, and explanations follow. A new shoemaker had arrived a machine and my father had to content himself with the mending of the work that the machine produced. It took him about ten years to find out what had happened to him.

There were twelve children in our family, five of whom died in childhood... Continue reading book >>

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