New Book Release

"Chicago Socialism"

Available August 19th

In the United States, Chicago provided Socialism with a soapbox for firebrand speechmaking, a home for political exiles and a springboard for activism. When Josephine Conger-Kaneko began printing The Socialist Woman in 1909 and then ran for alderwoman in 1914, she could appeal to an audience and an electorate sympathetic to the Socialist Party in unprecedented numbers.

Because Chicago was also a stronghold of the mercantile and political interests most dramatically opposed to the Socialist Party, the city frequently served as a pressure cooker for the nation's economic and ideological tension. That tension boiled over in incidents like the 1886 Haymarket Riot, the 1894 Pullman Strike and the 1919 Race Riots and continues to dictate the terms of engagement for contemporary protest movements and labor disputes. In this first comprehensive history of Socialism in the Windy City, author Joseph Rulli examines these major events through the largely unchronicled lives of the Chicago citizens who experienced them, from centennial garment workers to millennials with megaphones.

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Previous Book

"The Chicago Haymarket Affair"

On May 4, 1886, a bomb exploded during a labor demonstration near Haymarket Square. The ensuing gunfire and chaos brought a grisly end to what began as peaceful support for an eight-hour workday and led to the trial and execution of rally organizers. The incident also drew irrevocable attention to a conversation about workers rights and the role of law enforcement that continues today. In this guide to the key moments and sites of one of Chicago s most confusing and chaotic events, author Joseph Anthony Rulli aims to establish a clearer understanding of its historical significance."

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The first civilian bombing in the United States occurred right here in Chicago, in the West Loop, on the night of May 4, 1886. At the time of the first nationwide strike for the 8-hour workday, a rally was organized to protest police brutality against rioting workers on the previous afternoon at the McCormick Reaper Works at Wood Street and Blue Island Road.

At the end of the protest meeting, a bomb was thrown in the midst of police officers, killing seven of them as well as a few civilians and injuring dozens more. The ensuing trial of some of the movement’s leadership, the execution of four of eight of the convicted and the aftermath is known as the Haymarket Affair.

The tours entail the areas of the bombing, the trial and execution in addition to sites of the bomb-making, the labor newspaper offices and a smattering of other interesting details.

The Express Tour

would take up to 45 minutes and focus on the main event of the bombing and an overview of the trial and execution.

The Main Tour

would last around 60-90 minutes (West Loop, Loop, & the Hubbard/Dearborn area of downtown.

The Nerd Tour

would be a good three-four hours and include Old Town at North Ave. and Sedgwick as well as police headquarters at 35th and Michigan Ave. and the cemetery at Forest Park). Travel by CTA (a Day Pass would be needed) or vehicle is recommended, but the two shorter tours are certainly do-able on foot.

Tour Availability

Monday: Available Until 2pm

Tuesday and Wednesday: Available All Day

Thursday: Available Until 2pm

Friday: Available Until 2pm

Saturday & Sunday: Contact Me

Book Tour


THE MEATING Published in New Stone Circle, Spring issue, 2010

The electronic publication of my Haymarket tour book, The Working Class Smells…So Do Roses was released in June, 2014 by Nindis Social Media and Publishing.

The world premiere of my political satire, Let Me Just Say This Performed by Springboard Theater Company here in Chicago.

The print publication of my Haymarket book is set for release in the fall of 2016.


Joseph Anthony Rulli is a transplanted Hoosier, living in Chicago since the fall of 2006. A 1987 graduate of the University of Notre Dame (BA, History) and a 1992 graduate of St. Meinrad School of Theology (MDiv) he taught Social Studies, Religion, Philosophy and History at the high school level. He began writing as a career upon his arrival to his second city and has had two short stories published, a stage play performed, an electronic tour book published online and The Chicago Haymarket Affair (History Press/Arcadia Publishing, 2016) his first print book, followed by Chicago Socialism: The People’s History (History Press/Arcadia Publishing, 2019).