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Strike for America: Chicago Teachers Against Austerity (Jacobin) Paperback – March 11, 2014


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Product Details

  • Series: Jacobin
  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Verso (March 11, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1781683255
  • ISBN-13: 978-1781683255
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.4 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #294,854 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Brilliant political analysis." –The Nation

“Indefatigable reporting and elegant writing backed by an erudite command of the relevant history, and by precious on-the-ground experience as an organizer. Uetricht’s first book establishes him as the most exciting young labor writer today.” –Rick Perlstein, author of Nixonland: The Rise of a President and the Fracturing of America

“A short, accessible guide to one of the most important and inspiring events of our time.”–Brian Jones, member of the Movement of Rank-and-File Educators

“A wonderfully readable, smart account of the CTU’s transformation into a democratic, militant
union that with its community partners took on Chicago and the nation’s power elite.” –Lois Weiner, author The Future of Our Schools: Teachers Unions and Social Justice

“An indispensable account of a strike that was badly misconstrued and underreported by the mainstream media. Uetricht not only tells the story lucidly, but explains why the struggle of teachers in Chicago should matter to all of us.” –Liza Featherstone, author of Selling Women
Short: The Landmark Battle for Workers’ Rights at Wal-Mart

About the Author

Micah Uetricht is an assistant editor at Jacobin, and an In These Times contributing editor. He has written for the Nation, the Chicago Reader, Al Jazeera America, and Dissent. A former labor organizer, he lives in Chicago. 

Customer Reviews

It gives a good examination of the execution of the 2012 strike and a thorough summary and conclusion of its effects.
Michael J. Sacco
I would like to have seen the focus of the book remain on the teachers union struggle and not oscillate between the union and the denouncing of charter schools.
shareena clark
I strongly recommend this insightful and inspiring book to anyone who cares about reasserting democracy in public school structures and educational equity.
Occasional Reviewer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Robin Horne on April 10, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Micah Uetricht provides a very accessible introduction to the Chicago Teachers Union strike of 2012. He explains the development of the CORE caucus which was instrumental in turning the local into a fighting union (not only for teachers but for the students and families they serve). He also gives a lucid picture of the environment in Chicago during the strike (which was overwhelmingly positive for the teachers). He rounds out the book with some discussion of the neoliberal attacks on education (which the strike was a response to) and the necessity of public sector unions to be democratic and to fight for services in general, not just the interest of their members, if there is to be any hope and pushing back against privatization and neoliberalism.

A must read for all progressive people.
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Format: Paperback
I didn’t read this when it first came out. I figured that living in Chicago and participating in the rallies and being on the CORE Facebook group gave me a sense of the strike that would be hard to replicate in a little book.

I was wrong. Uetricht lays out the background and the events of the strike in the first half of the book in a depth that I was unfamiliar with. For that I’m grateful that I read it

He then lays out the future of CTU and unionism as a whole, and I wish I didn’t read it now, because with Rauner in office in Illinois, the strike now feels like a high-water mark of what is possible in respect for the service professionals in Illinois – this book is a reminder of what could be with proper unity (and voter turnout) against the forces of “reform” that want to marketize every personal transaction.

Structurally, there are some issues. Uetrucht likes to repeat scenes, which is odd, given the brevity of the book. There are multiple events given paragraph-length treatments more than once. Since It only takes a couple of hours to read, perhaps that should have been more heavily edited. There’s also three separate points where the reporting turns to first person. Since so much of it is not in first person, the inclusion of the authorial “I” is a bit jarring. I do get it though. I was at rallies for the teachers as a former teacher (nonunion though) myself. I felt solidarity with them, and the feeling around town was electric. I had my own red shirt that brought cheers and fives from strangers. It is that feeling of unity and solidarity that I wish we could feel all the time, and not just as teachers fight for respect from an elected government. In spite of those flaws, this is a worthy read.
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Format: Paperback
This is the most important "short" book on an important labor struggle since Peter Rachleff's book on P-9. It is a great overview of the reform of the Chicago Teacher's Union (CTU) and it's remodeling and prep for a fight back against "Mayor 1%," Rahm Emmanuel. It gives a good examination of the execution of the 2012 strike and a thorough summary and conclusion of its effects. This is not a be-all and end-all analysis, but a darn good read that is well researched and written. Jacobin also offers a free companion booklet to this book that has excellent articles that offer a guide and analysis to the attack on public education in the US.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This brief and exhilarating history of Chicago's CORE, a caucus within the Chicago Teachers Union, is essential reading for those on the frontline of corporate school reform such as charter school union organizers. Well written, contains vivid descriptions of strategy, decisions and rationales which can serve as a playbook for teachers in the trenches. I strongly recommend this insightful and inspiring book to anyone who cares about reasserting democracy in public school structures and educational equity.
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