In the early 1960s, a man named Ammon Hennacy started up a shelter and aid center for homeless people and railroad tramps who needed a place to stay. The Joe Hill House of Hospitality and St. Joseph Refuge provided a roof, food, storage for day laborers and camaraderie for Salt Lake City’s unsheltered.
A new biography tells the complicated but fascinating story of the center’s radical founder and his involvement in the Catholic Worker Movement, from New York City’s Bowery to the farm fields of the Southwest to the streets of Utah’s capital.
Christian Anarchist: Ammon Hennacy, A Life on the Catholic Left is the result of years of painstaking research by William Marling.
Dr. William Marling, Professor of American and World Literature at Case Western Reserve University
1962 KPFA radio interview with Ammon Hennacy courtesy of the Pacífica Radio Archives historic collection of recorded community radio history since 1949. With over 60,000 titles at PacificaRadioArchives.org
1964 Joe Hill House archival recording by the late singer-songwriter Mark Richmond and courtesy of Rev. Willis.
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Fantastic podcast. Dr. Marling is very articulate and very informative. This was a fascinating time and Hennacy is a forgotten force in our history. I like how he tied Hennacy to current movements, and how he illuminated Hennacy’s impact.