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Labor Rising: The Past and Future of Working People in America Paperback – July 3, 2012


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Labor Rising: The Past and Future of Working People in America + Why Unions Matter + "They're Bankrupting Us!": And 20 Other Myths about Unions
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: New Press, The (July 3, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1595585184
  • ISBN-13: 978-1595585189
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.4 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #797,770 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Daniel Katz is a professor of history and dean of labor studies at the National Labor College in Silver Spring, Maryland. A former union organizer, he sits on the boards of the New York State Labor History Association and Jews for Racial and Economic Justice. He is the author of All Together Different: Yiddish Socialists, Garment Workers, and the Labor Roots of Multiculturalism. He lives in Brooklyn, New York. Richard A. Greenwald is a professor of history and social sciences and the dean of the School of Arts and Sciences at St. Joseph’s College in Brooklyn, New York. He blogs on workplace issues for In These Times and has written for The Progressive, Businessweek online, the Brooklyn Rail, and the Wall Street Journal. His previous books include The Triangle Fire, the Protocols of Peace and the Making of Industrial Democracy in Progressive Era New York and Sweatshop USA: The Sweatshop in Global and Historical Perspective. He lives in Queens, New York.

More About the Author

Richard Greenwald, PhD, professor of history and Dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at Brooklyn College, CUNY. Formally a professor and Dean at St. Joseph's College, NY and Drew University in Madison, New Jersey. Trained as a social historian of modern America, Richard's scholarly interests are political economy, particularly the intersection of the workplace, business and American politics. His most recent book is Labor Rising: The Past and Future of American Workers (2012), co-edited with Daniel Katz. He is the author of The Triangle Fire, the Protocols of Peace and Industrial Democracy in Progressive Era New York (2005), co-editor of Sweatshop USA: The American Sweatshop in Historical and Global Perspective ( 2003), and editor of Exploring America's Past: essays in Social and Cultural History (1996). His current projects include: The Death of 9-5: Permanent Freelancers, Empty Offices and the New Way America Works (Bloomsbury, 2013); and a co-authored history of the needle unions with Daniel Katz, entitled Woven Together for Justice (supported by a grant for the Hillman Foundation), under contract with The New Press. He has served as Associate Editor for the scholarly journals Enterprise and Society: the International Journal of Business History and Labor History and is a member of the editorial boards for the journals Working USA & Labor History and In These Times. Richard was until recently the senior editor of the book series "Work in the Americas," published by University Press of Florida. He blogs on workplace issues for In These Times and his essays and articles have appeared in In These Times, The Progressive, Bookforum, Businessweek, The Brooklyn Rail (where is is a contributing writer), The Rumpus, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Inside Higher Education, and The Wall Street Journal among other place.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By C. Wagner on August 14, 2012
Format: Paperback
The editors maintain the United States is reverting back to an earlier age of history when workers were disposable and offered little in the way of salary and protection. (p. xi.) Historians trace the loss of union power to the 1970s and more specifically the air traffic controllers' strike of 1981. (p.4) And it is not just the fault of the perpetrators but of a society that spends more time discussing reality TV than social issues and politicians who get nervous when stock markets and unemployment decline. There follows a collection of essays that argue for a transformation of the labor movement.
Essays examine the history, the present, and the probable future of the labor movement and the actual milieu in which the ninety-nine percent and our offspring have been condemned.
Outsourcing and insourcing of a temp nature are exposed and most "new jobs" are shown as low pay, no benefit dead ends. The gig jobs are a highly frightening disenfranchising device engineered to devoid employees of the American dream. Contractual work, 89 day and out temps and independent contractors are totally disposable.
The history of labor contains multitudinous examples of how Those Who Rule Over Us use government, courts and police to stymie the unions and the rights of workers. In Washington, one essayist asserts that money can buy anything...not an original thought but one difficult to argue against.
Another essayist maintains the Reagan era was not a return to less government but a return to the norm of the gilded age, a beginning of the end of a few generations of prosperity for the worker.
Part five: Beyond borders is particularly interesting.
In the summary, the authors state: "So there may be a future in labor in the United States.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Labor Class Struggle on March 28, 2013
Format: Paperback
More so than ever we are in need of a book that examines the labour movement critically. This book attempts to provide an overview of the key features of labor in the USA. From the outset, the editors should provide analysis rooted in a historical framework that is crucial for our students to understand the past successes and defeats. Consequently, I find history and context wanting. This book has some interesting essays that require cohesion and interpretative and analytic perspective. That too is wanting. But straightaway the edited book lacks a historical analysis rooted in the material experiences of the workers essential for any student of labour relations in the USA, Europe, and beyond. I am impressed by the assemblage of contributors but this book lacks a thematic edge. I think the authors are well meaning and seek to revive the moribund labour movement in the USA but should take into context the actual workers who are necessary to advance the project.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Louis the Kingsnake on December 20, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a great collection of essays. My personal favorite is the first essay by Shelton Stromquist. Stromquist writes of rebuilding the labor movement from the ground up, recasting existing infrastructure to address specific problems at the community level and building further from this new civic engagment.

The rest of the authors provide a kind of collage-portrait of where we as a labor movement are today and identify several interesting avenues by which organized labor can address some of this nation's most pressing problems. This is a measured, thoughtful discussion wich is not limited soley to organized labor but also the broad middle class it forged and its centrality to our national health.
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Format: Paperback
Yes there is truth to the statements that these are essays from academia and not union finks. Great arguments here though. Glad to see it stated so boldly true at some points. The next move is tactics. We need a real resurgence of Unions as a Speakerphone to voice grievances.
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2 of 12 people found the following review helpful By buckbenny on January 14, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is written by a bunch of educators, who probably have never had to own up to the output of their efforts. It is really an "Ain't it awful what they are doing to the unions in this country!" book. One bright spot is the "author" whose article seems to have made a fresh observation about the current state of the work force. His statement about the "gig" mentality is right on. This book is not worth the price.

A labor recruiter.
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