- Hardcover: 504 pages
- Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (October 6, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0199836787
- ISBN-13: 978-0199836789
- Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 1.6 x 6.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 89 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,026,880 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Collision Course: Ronald Reagan, the Air Traffic Controllers, and the Strike that Changed America 1st Edition
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"Simply one of the best-written labor histories I have ever read." -Working USA: The Journal of Labor and Society
About the Author
Joseph A. McCartin is Professor of History at Georgetown University and Director of the Kalmanovitz Initiative for Labor and the Working Poor.
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Thank you for illuminating the strike and contract negotiations in such detail. These negotiation stances, both union and government, are fine examples of strategy games. The anthropology and historical detail here are exemplary. Personalities do matter, but no one person is to blame or praise for 1981. Group thinking is quite apparent on both sides.
This inside view of the overall situation and history surrounding it since the late 50s and well past the 1981 showdown completely changed my perspective on the whole thing.
A great read if it is a subject you are interested and - especially if you think you know what happened.
As a young adult in 1981 I vividly remember the Professional Air Traffic Controllers (PATCO) strike and the tension it caused in my neighborhood. You were either on the side of backing the union people, PATCO or you were on the side of the newly elected President Ronald Reagan. In my family we sided with the President. But this book not only gives incredibly accurate accounts of the talks between PATCO, The White House and the FAA, but also insites to the positive and negative sides of the contract talks. But what really makes this book such a wealth of knowledge is that history of PATCO.
Starting with a mid-collison disaster in 1960 over Staten Island, one sees the beginning of what soon would become PATCO. The men, Jack Maher and Mike Rock who started the orginization that would be PATCO. A few years later the chance meeting of one of the men and attorney F.Lee Bailey who ended up becoming their legal consult and spokesman. Then comes the evolution from orginization to being certified as a union. Through these years you understand the air traffic controllers problems and frustrations of using out dated WWII and Korean War equipment to mounting pressure as air traffic grew in a short number of years to the lack of assistance from the FAA and much more. But then as PATCO changes presidents and grows and grows, so do the frustrations, the abuse and lack of respect from the White House from Presidents Kennedy, Johnson (dealing with the Vietman War), Nixon, Ford and Carter (the biggest back stabber of all). The number of times that PATCO did "sick-in's", "rolling delays" and actual strikes that will surprise you. PATCO becomes the little boy that cries WOLF one too many times and no one takes him seriously anymore!
I won't spoil the end of the book when Carter seeks re-election and is challenged by R. Reagan. It's the twists and turns, the greediness and the deceptions by the union and the White House that makes this a fascinating read. The 1981 air controllers strike could have and was suppose to happened in 1979 or 1980. It's Ronald Reagon who gets the place in history for taking on and settling this challenge.
This book is a must read for fans of unions, the airline industry and of Presidents. This topic is still a hot one the causes of many heated debates as I should know. Last year a good friend of mine, a union school teacher and I began talking about the merits of this subject. Needless to say the debate got ugly. But the amazing part of it is that when I mentioned the book, resited facts and asked if he would mind reading it, his only answer was no, it's all bologna. To future readers dont' close your mind to this fantastic book. Once you read it decide for yourself whether PATCO was right or wrong, was President Reagan right or wrong, or could a better solution come out of this. I will let you decide that for yourself!
This nonfiction work affected me on a number of levels -- as a writer of three fiction novels, a PATCO striker, and a fired air traffic controller. There is an art to telling a good story and my friends remind me that in fiction, facts are irrelevant; I have the freedom to make it up. Mr. McCartin did not have such luxury but definitely tells this story exceptionally well. As a fired air traffic controller and PATCO striker who originally lived this story, I found myself reliving the emotionally and sometimes painful journey of memories and loss of the people who are no longer with us. Along with other truths, this story reveals that those who arrogantly stepped into the shoes of the fired air traffic controllers with an attitude of "I'll do anything for $32,000 a year," soon found themselves working for the FAA and forming a new union.
I highly recommend Mr. McCartin's Collision Course and say to him, "congratulations and thank you."
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Collision Course: Ronald Reagan, the Air Traffic Controllers, and the Strike that Changed America by Joseph A.Read more