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Labor's Untold Story: The Adventure Story of the Battles, Betrayals and Victories of American Working Men and Women Paperback – June, 1979

ISBN-13: 978-0916180010 ISBN-10: 0916180018 Edition: 3rd

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 399 pages
  • Publisher: United Electrical, Radio & Machine Workers of Amer; 3rd edition (June 1979)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0916180018
  • ISBN-13: 978-0916180010
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.3 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #239,352 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

The book has the ring of veracity.
darien@briefcase.com
Labor's Untold Story A history of the American labor movement featuring information you will not find in standard history texts..............
R. Barrell
As unions are being lied about and vilified in the press, here is the true story of the rise of the Labor Union Movement in the US.
Christopher J Balchin

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

43 of 47 people found the following review helpful By darien@briefcase.com on June 19, 1999
Format: Paperback
The plans of John D. Rockefeller had more to do with the course of American Labor history than those of Samuel Gompers. This is the main premise of Labor's Untold Story, an economic history of America from Labor's viewpoint. Covering the years from 1860 to 1955, when it was published by the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers Union, it presents a fast-paced narrative, skillfully weaving stories in a highly readable and entertaining format. United Electrical was and is a progressive union, in the lead for workers rights. This union has suffered for its advocacy of the worker. It still exists and has a membership of about 35,000 workers in occupations ranging from highway toll-takers to graduate student assistants.
Labor's actions have been determined, in the long view of history, not so much by the actions of Labor leaders but Labor's adversaries. Boyer and Morais maintain that Labor has reacted to employers rather than the opposite. Division and destruction of Labor occurred primarily through actions of employers and the government. Multitudes of people have sacrificed their livelihoods, families, and even their lives to further the cause of Labor, with mixed and halting progress. Labor's Untold Story tells us that Business' exploitation of employees causes depression and other economic upheaval, and makes a convincing case.
As a beginning example the "Molly McGuires" of the Pennsylvania coal mining region will do nicely. For starters, historians agree that no group called the Molly McGuires existed in that area in 1873. This was fabricated for publicity purposes by the mine owner, Franklin B. Gowen. He originally recognized the union in the belief that a strike would help to create a coal shortage and push up the price.
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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Phil Myers on January 30, 2005
Format: Paperback
This is a gripping, eye-opening, well-documented account of the American labor movement from its beginnings through to the mid-1950s. It brings alive the great figures and achievements of working class struggle that have been distorted by or excised from mainstream histories. Highly recommended for anyone who has read "A People's History of the United States" and wants to know more.

Sadly, the book pussyfoots around the important role of communists in the labor movement, and almost totally erases the contributions of anarchists-- mentioning Sacco and Vanzetti's political convictions only in passing, and completely eliding the fact that Albert Parsons and other Haymarket martyrs were anarchists. Also, it ends on a rather pat and rosy note of hope that the then (1955) newly-formed AFL-CIO would rally American labor to even greater achievements. Thus it offers few lessons for the routed, coopted labor movement of today. Important conclusions about internal democracy and autonomy that could have been drawn from labor's defeat are left to readers to draw for themselves.

One more thing--

Notice that those reviewers who paint this book as 'biased' don't actually attempt to refute any of the factual matter Boyer and Morais bring to light. Having a point of view is no crime, in fact it clarifies debate to state your allegiances and conviction in the open, as the authors do. Attempting to conceal bias behind a facade of objectivity, as mainstream textbooks and news sources do, is what ought to be called into question.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Mother Jones on June 22, 2003
Format: Paperback
The right-wing reviewers who gave this book a one star, did not read this book. This is REAL history about working Americans and our struggles for economic justice. Just like today, (Enron, Worldcom should ring a bell) there were ruthless,greedy corporations who treated their employees like slaves. "Labor's Untold Story" is a must for union activists, anti-globalization protestors and other independent thinkers who want to get the true stories of labor's past battles.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 30, 1999
Format: Paperback
This book tells more about the people and the struggles of labor than most labor histories. The authors shed light on the subtle and not so subtle differences between te different unions. This book is well documented and footnoted. It describes business and government attempts to destroy labor with thoroughly documented sources. The book also shows how some labor leaders sold out the movement. This is a must read book for anyone who wants to know more about labor history
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Drew Hunkins on February 15, 2003
Format: Paperback
Authentic people's history to the core, Boyer and Morais' Labor's Untold Story covers all the gritty drama and history that shaped the world for working people throughout the United States. The exciting and neglected story of working people and their struggles for humane conditions and a living wage is vividly documented in this outstanding work. Any book that starts out with this gem of a Lincoln quote: "Outside the family, the strongest bond of human sympathy should be one uniting all working people of all nations, tongues and kindreds" is certain to be great.
It does a fantastic job of documenting myriad instances of police violence towards striking and locked-out workers. Beginning with the historic Haymarket affair in Chicago where cops instigated a riot during a worker's demonstration and wound up jailing early heroes of the American labor movement who were eventually executed on trumped up charges; Labor's Untold Story goes on to explain the role of the International Workers of the World and Big Bill Haywood, all women and men worthy of emulation. Their struggle for simple free speech rights is told and the Wobblies and Eugene Debs are chronicled in vivid detail. Boyer and Morais put together a sensational description of the Great Depression explaining the causes such as over production combined with poor wages for the masses, and the everyday conditions for the working populace.
Probably the finest chapter deals with the Flint Sit-Down strike of the 1930s. The impetus for the debilitating yet exhilarating strike being the speed-ups dictated by management which literally led to death for many workers as they slumped over the production lines in exhaustion. Another interesting fact pointed out in Labor's Untold Story is the National Association of Manufacturers admiration for Hitler.
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