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With this passionate but meandering call for reform, union member and journalist Fitch attempts to expose the systemic corruption—the "private use of public office"—that he deems central to the history of American labor and its current ineffectuality. After two scattered and polemical introductory chapters that put the corruption of American labor unions in a global context, the book traces a century's worth of labor history, from the 1881 founding of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters to the mob-backed looting of the Mason Tenders pension fund in the 1990s. Fitch likens labor unions to fiefdoms and union leaders to warlords while comparing their level of corruption to that of the pre-Reformation Catholic Church. He implicates historical figures from early 20th-century AFL president Samuel Gompers and mid-century Teamster Jimmy Hoffa to Bill Clinton and Rudolph Giuliani, whom he censures for their coziness with unscrupulous union leaders. This sweeping condemnation, though provocative, suffers from the breadth of material and its diffuse thematic rather than chronological presentation. The book's structural flaws make for reading that often proves as frustrating as it is fascinating. (Feb.)
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"Nobody has written of trade unionism's fatal embrace with the underworld, and its own demons, more eloquently." -- Carl F. Horowitz, National Review, February 13, 2006
AAA slew of keen insights An important read for anyone who cares about the future of organized labor in America. -- Kirkus Reviews, December 1, 2006
As a committed believer in the necessity and indispensable value of the labor movement, I seek to more fully understand the dynamics of its current crisis. Read morePublished 17 months ago by paul
A great, dismaying look at how the post-plantation 'work system' in the U.S. has herded & corralled organized union labor into a penned - in and well supervised labyrinth of legal... Read morePublished on December 27, 2012 by John A. Joslin
We believe that this gripping book will intrigue anyone who is interested in American politics, the labor movement, or social and economic reform. Read morePublished on December 21, 2006 by Rolf Dobelli
Having worked as a business journalist but dipped my toe into labor history, I find Fitch's book to be thoroughly comprehensive but never dull! Read morePublished on July 4, 2006 by Alex N.
Though Fitch does not offer any solutions, his expose is well chronicled. The documentation and stories are entertaining as well as informative, and his analysis does not omit the... Read morePublished on April 18, 2006 by Dagmar F. Pelzer
New York City-based labor reporter Robert Fitch`s new book, ``Solidarity For Sale, how corruption destroyed the labor movement and undermined America`s progress`` is a great expose... Read morePublished on April 14, 2006 by Gregory A. Butler
This is a book that the rank and file should read. The only book of its kind. I can't compete with the intellectuals trashing the book. I do know this book made me stop and think. Read morePublished on February 24, 2006 by Paul Pamias