Greenhouse, labor correspondent for the New YorkTimes, offers up a bleak picture of the current workplace environment. Violations of child labor laws and forced slave labor conditions associated with Third World countries or the robber baron era are occurring on a wide scale right here in America, expanding the ranks of the working poor. This isn’t just some hidden sweat shops; it’s happening in our largest corporations, such as Wal-Mart. Factory workers are forced to ramp up production to a pace rivaling that of Charlie Chaplin in Modern Times; others are fired for menial “violations,” such as going to the bathroom during their shifts; and anyone daring to organize a labor movement is brutally harassed and humiliated. Meanwhile multimillion-dollar CEOs such as Al “Chainsaw” Dunlap and Jack “Neutron” Welch have become the models for corporate success by laying off hundreds of thousands while Wall Street cheered. Greenhouse did find businesses that treat workers fairly, such as Costco and Timberland, which pay higher wages but are rewarded with worker loyalty and higher productivity. He also offers up ways to solve the current crises in wage stagnation, health care and retirement shortfalls. This is a real call to arms—a stark, jaw-dropping exposé with the usual, but inspiring, glimmers of hope. --David Siegfried
“Steve Greenhouse has written the essential economic book for 2008. Long before most analysts noticed the downturn, Greenhouse was reporting how troubled our economy looked from the bottom-up. A hugely talented reporter with a passion for justice, a shrewd student of the new economy and a brilliant guide to the contemporary labor movement, Greehouse writes with clarity, energy and grace.”
-E. J. Dionne Jr.
"Steven Greenhouse's brilliant and vividly reported exposé shows how employers have been squeezing the life out of American workers, through means both legal and illegal. My blood boiled when I read The Big Squeeze.
Any presidential candidate–or voter–who overlooks this book will be clueless about what's really going on in America."
"In this shocking and important book, Steven Greenhouse explains–and tells the stories–of how U.S. workers are paying the price for the lower labor standards and wages that are the result of poorly-managed globalization."
-Joseph E. Stiglitz
“Excellent and relentless . . . Greenhouse’s book gives a convincing portrait of a business culture that has been more and more aggressive toward workers.”
-Jeff Madrick, New York Review of Books
“An excellent book . . . Greenhouse exhibits outrage and moral indignation and an idealism one doesn’t necessarily expect from a hard-bitten New York Times
reporter.”-The Washington Monthly
“Important and infuriating.”-Chicago Tribune
“Riveting . . . a sobering examination of a growing American crisis, and . . . nothing short of brilliant.”
“New York Times
labor correspondent Greenhouse drops a bombshell on local bookstores . . . Greenhouse’s clear and level prose is investigative journalism at its finest.”-Rocky Mountain News
“Greenhouse’s The Big Squeeze
is a fresh, probing look at the critical issues facing both blue- and white-collar American workers . . . The Big Squeeze
will be an eye-opener for many. Don’t miss it.”
“The power of Greenhouse’s book lies . . . in its reporting, especially on low-wage workers . . . his best material vividly focuses on the always difficult and often abusive working conditions of low-paid employees. Such stories get far too little airing and rarely are they so well told.”-Business Week
“Greenhouse paints a wrenching protrait of decent people who, by no fault of their own, have been fired, demoted, downsized, displaced, abandoned . . . Greenhouse’s picture should unnerve anyone committed to a stable future for American democracy.”
-Patrick J. Deneen, American Conservative
“[Greenhouse’s] reporting skills serve his book’s readers well.”-Washington Post
“A book . . . that will confirm your worst suspicions and fears, open your eyes and turn your stomach.”-The Buffalo News
“Greenhouse has mastered labor market economics in a way few journalists do . . . his profiles are . . . rich in evoking sympathy and understanding for workers who struggle to both adapt and resist . . . The Big Squeeze
becomes the one essential book on today’s American workplace.”
-Jack Metzgar, Dissent