Category: Issues

Fall 2014

Fall 2014

Contents
From the Editorial Team

Under the Radar
By Sarah Jaffe
Unreported and under-reported news and views that matter.

On the Contrary
(Free) Whose Side Are You On? (FREE)
By Andrew Ross

(Free) Engage, Don’t Divest, from Israel (FREE)
By Jo-Ann Mort

The Changing Faces of Poverty and Inequality

(FREE) How We Once Came to Fight a War on Poverty (FREE)
By Frances Fox Piven
Why we waged a war on poverty and what we won.

Wage Inequality: A Story of Policy Choices
By Lawrence Mishel, John Schmitt, and Heidi Shierholz
The overlooked reason for the burgeoning income gap.

The Time Crunch: Will Labor Lead?
By Dan Clawson and Naomi Gerstel
Why American workers might join organized labor in a fight to control work hours.

If Not Now, When? A Labor Movement Plan to Address Climate Change
By Jeremy Brecher, Ron Blackwell, and Joe Uehlein
How labor can champion a movement against global warming and for economic justice.

Curbing the Consequences: Achieving Better Outcomes for Workers in Municipal Bankruptcies
By Iris J. Lav
What sunk our bankrupt cities and who should bail them out?

An Accident in History
By Rich Appelbaum and Nelson Lichtenstein
A strategy for ending the global sweatshop.

Dirty Jobs, Done Dirt Cheap: Working in Reality Television
By Gabriel Winant
Reality TV tells fairy tales about work.

A Year for Revision
By Ari Paul
Internal union reform and self-critique provided the silver lining in labor’s stormy weather.

Domestic Workers Go Global: The Birth of the International Domestic Workers Federation
By Eileen Boris and Jennifer N. Fish
The first international labor federation run by women for work dominated by women.

Economic Prospects
How Policymakers Can Help the Long-term Unemployed
By Mike Konczal

Roots of Rebellion
A guide to insurgencies from coast to coast.

The Battle over the Minimum Wage, City by City
By Peter Dreier

Organized Money: What Is Corporate America Thinking?

Courting Disaster
By Max Fraser

Books and the Arts

Chávez in Hollywood: A Roundtable
Cesar Chavez
Directed by Diego Luna
Reviewed by Bruce Neuburger, Miriam Pawel, Frank Bardacke, and Randy Shaw

Dystopia or Utopia? Alternative Visions of the City of Detroit
Detropia
Directed by Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady

We Are Not Ghosts
Directed by Mark Dworkin and Melissa Young
Reviewed by Heidi Gottfried

Chicken and Shrimp: Two Perspectives on Globalization
The Chicken Trail: Following Workers, Migrants, and Corporations across the Americas
By Kathleen C. Schwartzman
Buoyancy on the Bayou: Shrimpers Face the Rising Tide of Globalization
By Jill Ann Harrison
Reviewed by John M. Talbot

Political Impotence . . . Union Made
Enough Blame to Go Around: The Labor Pains of New York City’s Public Employee Unions
By Richard Steier
Reviewed by John Krinsky

The Perils of Putting Profits before Patients
Cleaning Up: How Hospital Outsourcing Is Hurting Workers and Endangering Patients
By Dan Zuberi
Reviewed by Rebecca Kolins Givan

Out of the Mainstream: Books and Films You May Have Missed
By Matt Witt

Poetry

Spring 2013

Contents
From the Editorial Team

Under the Radar
By Ben Becker
Unreported and under-reported news and views that matter.

On the Contrary
(FREE) The Precariat: A Class or a Condition? (FREE)
By Peter Frase

(FREE) “We Are the 99%”: The Political Arithmetic of Revolt (FREE)
By Michael Yates

Immigrant Labor and the U.S. Economy: A Profile
By Hector Cordero-Guzman and Desiree Nunez
Where do they come from, where do they work, what are they paid, and much more.

Another Day Older and Deeper in Debt
The Politics of Debt: From the “Labor Question” to the “Debt Question”
By Julia Ott and Louis Hyman
Is resistance to debt our era’s path to economic and social justice?

Back to $chool: College Is the Past, Prison Is the Future
By Andy Kroll
Higher education is once again an upper-class prerogative.

Organized Labor and Transnational Capitalism
Globalized Business vs. Localized Labor: Building Cross-Border Labor Alliances
By Cathy Feingold
How can the international labor movement successfully confront international capital?

Free Trade Agreements and Unfree Labor: The Case of Colombia
By Ruth Needleman
Why the labor accords of the trade agreement do little to end the country’s anti-union reign of intimidation.

Teachers Unions at the Crossroads: Can the Assault on Teachers Be Rebuffed?
By Lee Sustar
Teachers must take advantage of their social ties to parents and communities.

The Marxist Moment
Marxism, Neoliberalism, and the Law: How Marxism Can Illuminate Recent Government and Judicial Decision-Making
By Justin Schwartz
Deregulation, free speech, and rewriting of legal precedent.

Reformers Resurgent? A Survey of Recent Rank-and-File Uprisings
By Mark Brenner
Can the new wave of workplace militance change the future of the labor movement?

Working-Class Voices of Contemporary America
Petals of Laughter: A Eulogy
By Rich Egeland

Economic Prospects
Fighting for Wall Street Regulation: Who Said It Was Easy?
By Robert Pollin

Roots of Rebellion
A guide to insurgencies from coast to coast.

Massacres and Movements: Challenging the Gun Industrial Complex
By Peter Dreier

In the Rearview Mirror
Revisiting the past to illuminate the present.

Fires, Floods, Earthquakes, and Capitalism
By Steve Fraser and Joshua B. Freeman

Caught in the Web
Labor news, views, and resources online.

Economics That Work, Workplaces That Don’t
By Liza Featherstone

Books and the Arts
Grassroots Not Astroturf
The Tea Party and the Remaking of Republican Conservatism
By Theda Skocpol and Vanessa Williamson
Reviewed by Paul Frymer

What Kind of Work Is Care?
Making Care Count: A Century of Gender, Race, and Paid Care Work
By Mignon Duffy

Raising Brooklyn: Nannies, Childcare, and Caribbeans Creating Community
By Tamara Mose Brown
Reviewed by E. Tammy Kim

Bittersweet
Searching for Sugar Man
Directed by Malik Bendjelloul
Reviewed by Lucia Trimbur

Art of the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire Centennial
Reviewed by Daniel Levinson Wilk

Out of the Mainstream: Books and Films You May Have Missed
By Matt Witt

Poetry

Fall 2013

Contents
From the Editorial Team

Under the Radar
By Ben Becker
Unreported and under-reported news and views that matter.

On the Contrary

(FREE) The Politics of Debt Resistance (FREE)
By Andrew Ross

Getting the Left out of Debt
By Samir Sonti

Socialist Feminism: The Legacy of the “Second Wave”
By Linda Gordon
Assessing the role of the Left.

Trading Away the Future: An Analysis of the Trans-Pacific Partnership
By Arthur Stamoulis
Why the TPP makes NAFTA look good.

Teachers on the Offensive: A Strategy for Transforming the Educational Reform Debate
By Amy B. Dean
Championing quality public schools and defending the dignity of teachers.

Looting the Urban Commonwealth: Privatization and the Politics of Austerity
By Elliott Sclar
Refuting the economics of privatizing public goods.

Public Sector Unionism under Assault: How to Combat the Scapegoating of Organized Labor
By Joseph A. McCartin
Time to go on the offensive and fight for the common good.

Labor Insurgency in China: Strikes, Unions, and the Role of the Government
By Katie Quan
A conversation with a Chinese labor organizer.

The Light and the Dark: Taking Stock of the Year in Labor
By Ari Paul
Declining numbers are real but not the whole story.

Economic Prospects

New Openings in the Fight against Austerity
By Robert Pollin

Roots of Rebellion [needs logo]
A guide to insurgencies from coast to coast.

Mobilizing to Hold Wall Street Accountable
By Peter Dreier

In the Rearview Mirror [needs logo]
Revisiting the past to illuminate the present.

Industrial Giantism and the Mythos of Progress: From Dark Satanic Mills to Foxconn
By Steve Fraser and Joshua B. Freeman

Caught in the Web [needs logo]
Labor news, views, and resources online.

Class Analysis Online
By Liza Featherstone

Books and the Arts

The Organizers
Raising Expectations (And Raising Hell): My Decade Fighting for the Labor Movement
By Jane McAlevey

Playing Bigger Than You Are: A Life in Organizing
Stewart Acuff
Reviewed by Penny Lewis

War of Worlds
The Broken Table: The Detroit Newspaper Strike and the State of American Labor
By Chris Rhomberg
Reviewed by Steve Babson

Forgive Us Our Debts!
Debt: The First 5,000 Years
By David Graeber
Reviewed by Michael Merrill

Out of the Mainstream: Books and Films You May Have Missed
By Matt Witt

Fall 2012

From the Editorial Team

Contents

Under the Radar
By Ben Becker
Unreported and under-reported news and views that matter.

On the Contrary
Manufacturing The Future: Why Reindustrialization Is The Road To Recovery
By Mark Levinson

No Work, Low Pay, And The American Nightmare
The Working Poor: A Booming Demographic
By Jeanette Wicks- Limremy Brecher
Who are the working poor and what will it take to reduce their numbers?.

To Be Young and Unemployed
By David S. Pedulla
Why are young workers most vulnerable to an economy in decline?

The Prison Industrial Complex: A Growth Industry In a Shrinking Economy
By Heather Ann Thompson
Why labor should care about the carceral state.

The Marxist Moment
Marxism in the Age of Financial Crisis: Why Conventional Economics Can’t Explain The Great Recession
By Jeffrey Sklansky

The Sigh of The Oppressed?: Marxism and Religion In America Today
By Kathryn Lofton

The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly:
A Labor Day Assessment Of The Past Year
By Stephanie Luce 

Food Fight: The Politics of The Food Industry
By Kristin Wartan
Why we won’t change the world one meal at a time.

Working-Class Voices of Contemporary America
Surviving In The Amazon
By Nichole Gracely

Economic Prospects
By Robert Pollin

Roots of Rebellion
By Peter Drier and John Atlas

In The Rearview Mirror
By Steve Fraser and Joshua B. Freeman

Caught In The Web
By Liza Featherstone
Labor news, views, and resources online.

Books and the Arts

Looking For Virtue In All The Wrong Places
Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010
By Charles Murray
Reviewed by Jack Metzgar

The Working Class in Exile
Chavs: The Demonization of the Working Class
By Owen James
Reviewed by James Rhoden

Making Your Own Luck
Casino Women: Courage In Unexpected Places
By Susan Chandler and Jill B. Jones
Reviewed by Lois Rita Helmbold

Perspectives on Cesar Chavez And The Farm Workers Movement
Trampling Out The Vintage: Cesar Chavez And The Two Souls of the United Farm Workers
By Frank Bardacke
The Union Of Their Dreams: Power, Hope, And Struggle In Cesar Chavez’s Farm Worker Movement
By Miriam Pawel
Reviewed by Fernando Gapasin

Out of the Mainstream: Books and Films You May Have Missed
By Matt Witt

Poetry

Letter To The Editors

About Our Contributors

Fall 2011

Access FULL Issue

Contents

From the Editorial Team

Under the Radar
By Ben Becker
Unreported and under-reported news and views that matter.

On the Contrary
A New Insurgency Can Only Arise Outside the Progressive and Labor Establishment
By Stephen Lerner

The Anatomy of Austerity
Marching Backwards: The Consequences of Bipartisan Budget Cutting
By Josh Bivens
Slashing federal spending is a recipe for disaster

State and Municipal Alternatives to Austerity
By Robert Pollin and Jeff Thompson
How governments can preserve social services and help jumpstart economic recovery

The Egyptian Uprising: The Mass Strike in the Time of Neoliberal Globalization
By Michael Schwartz
Why the labor movement was critical to the unfinished Egyptian revolution.

Will Today’s Excluded Workers Midwife Labor’s Rebirth?
Worker Centers: Entering a New Stag e of Growth and Development
By Janice Fine
Do worker centers represent the next stage of labor insurgency?

The Excluded Workers Congress: Reimagining the Right to Organize
By Harmony Goldberg and Randy Jackson
A report from the founding convention. 

Mexico Since NAFTA: Elite Delusions and the Reality of Decline
By James M. Cypher
Talk of Mexico as a new middle-class society is a myth.

Christianity and Class Consciousness: Searching the Pews For Labor’s Allies
By Ken Estey
Can labor find support among white evangelicals?

Working-Class Voices of Contemporary America
How The P’urhépechas Came to Southern California’s Coachella Valley
By David Bacon

Roots of Rebellion
By Peter Dreier
A guide to insurgencies from coast to coast. 

In the Rearview Mirror
By Steve Fraser and Joshua B. Freeman
Revisiting the past to illuminate the present.

Caught in the Web
By Liza Featherstone
Labor news, views, and resources online.

Books and the Arts

The 1970s Revisited: Is the Working Class Dead or Alive ?
Stayin’ Alive : The 1970s and the Last Days of the Working Class
By Jefferson Cowie
Reviewed by Steve Early

Servitors of the National Security State?
AFL-CIO’s Secret War against Developing Country Workers: Solidarity or Sabotage?
By Kim Scipes
Reviewed by Paul Garver

Seizing the Moment
Rebel Rank and File: Labor Militancy and Revolt from Be low During the Long 1970s
Edited by Aaron Brenner, Robert Brenner, and Cal Winslow
Reviewed by Matt Witt

Out of the Mainstream: Books and Films You May Have Missed
By Matt Witt

Poetry

About Our Contributors

 

from the editorial team

Once upon a time—so the storyline used to go—global, free market, finance-driven capitalism was destined to open up a passway to universal prosperity and social progress. Now a grimmer narrative prevails. Austerity and marginalization are the benchmarks of a society caught up in a relentless march backwards. Naturally enough, resistance to this undertow of retrogression has emerged. This issue of New Labor Forum begins an examination of these linked experiences of austerity, marginalization, and resistance.

Virtually every state of the union, not to mention the federal government, has committed itself to draconian budget cuts aimed almost entirely at those social services and income supports that make life livable for ordinary working people. Governing elites do this as if they had no other choice, as if the country had been struck by some natural—not manmade—disaster, and as if there were no alternatives. But the catastrophe of the Great Recession was not a natural one. It was instead caused by dominant financial institutions and their political facilitators. Budget deficits are a direct outcome of that collapse of finance capitalism. And there are alternatives to solving the havoc left behind that don’t entail excising the vital organs of everyday life. Robert Pollin and Jeff Thompson lay out a menu of such possibilities that state governments might adopt which would not only address the deficit problem, but also contribute to real economic, job-creating recovery. Josh Bivens analyzes the same austerity regime at the national level. He paints a disturbing picture of how federal budget slashing will not only undermine everything from getting educated to staying healthy, but will also—by eliminating thousands and thousands of government jobs and the economic recovery they help make possible—actually aggravate the deficit that the cuts were ostensibly designed to remedy.

Marginalized labor has typified global capitalism for a long generation. Work in underground economies—in sweatshops here and abroad, labor occurring outside or beneath the radar of labor laws, the mass conversion of peasants into migratory birds of passage headed either into the vast urban slums of their own countries or into the transcontinental tides of immigrant labor—is becoming the new normal in an age of long-term economic decline and austerity. Such a condition has afflicted the Mexican political economy for decades and especially since the advent of NAFTA. James M. Cypher explores that dynamic which threatens to turn Mexico into a failed state, despite the efforts of its ruling oligarchy to depict the country as a haven for a new, mass middle class. David Bacon’s photo essay (appearing in our “Working-Class Voices” section) depicts a trailercamp mixed community of Native Americans and Mexican migrants working the fields of the Coachella Valley in California. It provides an intimate look at how people struggling to get by and sustain their own community perceive their lives. Meanwhile, in the heartland of Rust Belt America, white working-class families cope with their own social descent, some taking solace in evangelical Christianity. Ken Estey explores whether or not that means they are lost to the cause of social justice.

Whether or not white working-class evangelicals are about to enlist in the struggle against austerity and marginalization, clearly others are, both here and abroad. A cluster of articles examines different facets of this resistance. Michael Schwartz describes the unfinished Egyptian revolution, noting how deeply rooted it was in that country’s labor insurgency and how much, in turn, that insurgency was embedded in the dynamics of international capitalism. Worker centers have become a more and more conspicuous way workers, mainly immigrants, have struggled against discrimination and exploitation in the “informal economy.” Janice Fine assesses their strengths and weaknesses, and their growing connection to the organized trade union movement. In June 2010, nine independent organizations of such marginalized workers—from day laborers to domestics—founded the Excluded Workers Congress to improve working conditions for those who fall outside U.S. labor protections and to expand the legal framework for workers’ rights. Harmony Goldberg and Randy Jackson explore the possibilities of this alliance and its increasing ties to the organized labor movement. Two pieces also deal with the question of resistance to this new forced descent into austerity. Stephen Lerner’s “On the Contrary” essay argues that the established institutions of progressive opposition—trade unions, civil rights organizations, and others—are too vested in conventional political and bureaucratic mechanisms for resolving conflict. This leaves them incapable of initiating the sort of creative, audacious, and risky mass actions that are necessary to disrupt the prevailing balance of power in our society. This issue of New Labor Forum also inaugurates a new feature which aims to survey the landscape of local organizations of resistance and rebellion, groups too often unknown or ignored. We are calling it “Roots of Rebellion,” and are most pleased to announce that Peter Dreier—Distinguished Professor of Politics and director of the Urban & Environmental Policy Program at Occidental College—will be in charge. In this first offering, Dreier examines one of the more notable of such organizations, the Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy.

Robert Pollin’s column, “Economic Prospects,” doesn’t appear in this issue because he and Jeff Thompson had their hands full composing their feature article on alternatives to austerity. All the other regular columns are present and accounted for. Liza Featherstone’s “Caught in the Web” includes items on protest music, Internet watchdogs of mainstream media bias, and sites that keep up with the upheavals in the Middle East. “In the Rearview Mirror” looks at how public employees’ right to engage in collective bargaining has evolved over the course of the last century. Ben Becker’s “Under the Radar” provides some eye-opening statistical measures of how tough things are becoming, a scatological comment of intense frustration from the head of the American labor movement, and some welcome signs of fightback here in the U.S. and elsewhere. In “Books and the Arts,” two book reviews assess what became of working-class resistance in the closing decades of the twentieth century and another explores the role of the AFL in frustrating resistance by workers in developing countries. Matt Witt’s inventory of little-known books and films is again full of wonderful discoveries. And the issue closes with poems by Major Jackson and B.H. Fairchild that recapture disparate working-class childhoods lived, respectively, on the teeming streets of Philadelphia and the open roads of Colorado.

Spring 2011

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Contents

From the Editorial Team

Under the Radar
By Ben Becker
Unreported and under-reported news and views that matter.

On the Contrary
It’s an Academic Question: Why Progressive Intellectuals Should Not Stay Out of Internal Union Battles
By Dan Clawson

ONE, TWO, MANY MADISONS: The War on Public Sector Workers
By Stanley Aronowitz
Are we entering a new era of union fight-back?

 

IS THERE LIFE AFTER SHELLACKING: A Post-Election Program for the Democratic Party
By J. Phillip Thompson
The future of the Democratic Party is in play. 

INDIANS ON STRIKE: Caste and Class in the Indian Trade Union Movement
By Subhashini Ali
The story of the Indian labor movement and how it recently managed to overcome its historic divisions

THE WORKING-CLASS EYE OF MILTON ROGOVIN: A Retrospective Photo Essay
By Janet Zandy

CHINESE INVESTMENTS IN AFRICA: Twenty-First Century Colonialism?
By Herbert Jauch
The Chinese road to economic development is a dead end for African labor.

BUILDING A LABOR MOVEMENT IN A FAILED STATE: The Case of Zimbabwe
By Bernard Pollack
A pathbreaking attempt to unite workers in a deeply depressed economy.

PROMISES, PROMISES: Assessing the Obama Administration’s Record on Labor Reform
By Anne Aarie Lofaso
A record of executive accomplishment is combined with legislative paralysis.

BATTLE IN THE MOJAVE: Lessons from the Rio Tinto Lockout
By Peter Olney
How to turn union-busting tactics into a victory for labor.

Economic Prospects
By Robert Pollin

In the Rearview Mirror
By Steve Fraser and Joshua B. Freeman
Revisiting the past to illuminate the present

Caught in the Web
By Liza Featherstone
Labor news, views, and resources online.

Books and the Arts

The Closing Window
The Lost Tiki Palaces of Detroit
By Michael Zadoorian
American Salvage
By Bonnie Jo Campbell
Reviewed by Christopher Barzak

The Continental Plan 
Were You Born On The Wrong Continent?: How The European Model Can help You Get A Life
By Thomas Geoghegan
Reviewed by Thomas Greven

Power To The People
Seeds of Change: The Story of ACORN, America’s Most Controversial Antipoverty Community Organizing Group
By John Atlas
Contesting Community: The Limits and Potential of Local Organizing
By James DeFilippis, Robert Fisher, and Eric Shragge
Reviewed by Erik Peterson

Out of the Mainstream: Books and Films You May Have Missed
By Matt Witt

Poetry

About Our Contributors

 

Winter 2011

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Contents

From the Editorial Team

Under the Radar
By Ben Becker
Unreported and under-reported news and views that matter.

On the Contrary
We Can’t Go Home Again: Why The New Deal Won’t Be Renewed
By Jefferson Cowey

Out of the Smoke and the Flame: The Triangle Shirtwaist Fire and Its Legacy
Why No Fire This Time?: From the Mass Strike to No Strike
By Stephen Pimpare
Exploring the limits of resistance since the days of the Triangle Fire.

From the Triangle Fire to the BP Explosion: A Short History of the Century-Long Movement for Safety and Health Disaster
By Gerald Markowitz and David Rosner
Is the glass half empty or half full?

Feminism and the Labor Movement: A Century of Collaboration and Conflict
By Eileen Boris and Annelise Orleck
Is the feminization of the labor movement an indicator of its decline or a harbinger of its renewal?

The Rag Trade as the Canary in the Coal Mine: The Global Sweatshop, 1980 -2010
By Robert J.S. Ross
Garment manufacturing as the vanguard of the rearguard.

A Twenty-First Century Organizing Model: Lessons from the New York Domestic Workers Bill of Rights Campaign
By Ai-jen Poo
What does the triumph of Domestic Workers United mean for the future of the labor movement?

Immigration Reform: Two Proposals
Citizens of the Global Economy: A Proposal to Universalize the Rights of Transnational Labor Movement
By Jennifer Gordon

Neither Walls Nor Open Borders: A New Approach to Immigration Reform
By Rodolfo O. de la Garza

Land of the Open Shop: The Long Struggle to Organize Silicon Valley
By David Beacon
Why the organizing drives and victories of the 1980s and 1990s proved so abortive

Working-Class Voices of Contemporary America
Survival in the Shadows
By Neure Clarke

Economic Prospects
By Robert Pollin

In the Rearview Mirror
By Steve Fraser and Joshua B. Freeman
Revisiting the past to illuminate the present

Caught in the Web
By Liza Featherstone
Labor news, views, and resources online.

Books and the Arts

Homeless in Academe
In A Carpenter’s Daughter: A Working-Class Woman in Higher Education
By Renny Christopher
Reviewed by Nicholas Coles

Demythologizing Mexican Immigration
Clandestine Crossings : Migrants and Coyotes on the Texas-Mexico Border
By David Spener
Reviewed by Mary Romero

The Celluloid Economy
The American Ruling Class
Directed by John Kirby
The People Speak
Co-directed by Chris Moore, Anthony Arnove, and Howard Zinn
What’s the Economy for, Anyway?
Directed by David Batker and John de Graaf
Reviewed by Kathy M. Newman

To Work Is to Pray: Faith and Working-Class Resilience
Justified by Work: Identity and the Meaning of Faith in Chicago’s Working-Class Churches
By Robert Anthony Bruno
Charity in Truth (Caritas In Veritate)
By Pope Benedict XVI (Joseph Ratzinger)
Reviewed by Brian R. Corbin

Out of the Mainstream: Books and Films You May Have Missed
By Matt Witt

Poetry

Letter To The Editors

About Our Contributors

 

Winter 2010

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Contents

From the Editorial Team

Under the Radar
By Ben Becker
Unreported and under-reported news and views that matter.

On the Contrary

Taking Over the Enterprise: A New Strategy for Labor and the Left
By Rick Wolff

Scanning the Globe: Politics in Europe, Latin America, and Asia

Empire’s Senescence: U.S. Policy in Latin America
By Greg Grandin
Why the Obama administration can’t break free from the old way of doing things.

Is Social Democracy Dead? The Crisis of Capitalism in Europe
By Norman Birnbaum
What’s left of the European Left?

Vietnam at the Crossroads: Market Socialism and the Vietnamese Labor Movement
By Gregory Mantsios
As the Vietnamese government embraces capitalism, what will its labor movement do?

Looking Backward: International Labor’s Forgotten Plan to Fight the Great Depression
By Jeremy Brecher, Tim Costello, and Brendan Smith
Should a program of internationally-funded public works be part of labor’s agenda today?

The (Mis)Measure of Prosperity: Morning in America and the Decline of the Social Wage
By Shawn Fremstad and Heather Boushey
Analyzing the false prosperity of the last quarter century.

Economic Prospects
By Robert Pollin

If We Can Change the White House, We Can Change the Hog House
By Gene Bruskin
Does the victory over Smithfield signal the beginning of the end for anti-union Dixie?

Beating the System: Is the System A Survey of Workplace Violations in Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York City
By The Workplace Violations Survey Project
Breaking labor laws is the new norm for American businesses.

The Odd Couple: Wall Street, Union Benefit Funds, and the Looting of the American Worker
By John Adler and Jay Youngdahl
Labor’s benefit fund strategy is bankrupt.

In the Rearview Mirror
By Steve Fraser and Joshua B. Freeman
Revisiting the past to illuminate the present.

Working-Class Voices of Contemporary America

Following a Father’s Footfalls: Love and Estrangement in the Alleghenies
By Margaret Costello

Caught in the Web
By Kim Phillips-Fein
Labor news, views, and resources online.

Books and the Arts

And Their Children after Them: Deindustrialization Lit American Rust
American Rust
By Philipp Meyer
Reviewed by Sherry Lee Linkon

Because They Can: Employers and the Payday Heist
Wage Theft in America: Why Millions of Working Americans Are Not Getting Paid—And What We Can Do About It
By Kim Bobo
Reviewed by Bethany Moreton

Caution: Writers at Work
Working: An Anthology of Writing and Photography
Edited by Greg Hart, Mary Ellen Mangino, Zoeanne Murphy, and Ann Marie Taliercio
The Way We Work: Contemporary Writings from the American Workplace
Edited by Peter Scheckner and M. C. Boyes
Reviewed by Katherine Sciacchitano

Of Medals and Myths
Milk
Directed by Gus Van Sant
Reviewed by Patrick McCreery

Out of the Mainstream: Books and Films You May Have Missed
By Matt Witt

Poetry

Letters To The Editors

About Our Contributors

 

Fall 2010

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Contents

From the Editorial Team

Under the Radar
By Ben Becker
Unreported and under-reported news and views that matter.

On the Contrary

Why Labor’s Soldiering for the Democrats Is a Losing Battle
By Adolph Reed

Engaging with Democrats
By Bob Master

Forecasting the Midterms

The GOP in the  Age of Obama: Will the Tea Party and Republican Establishment Unite or Fight?
By Gary Gerstle
How a fading minority party turned the tables on its vanquisher.

The Democratic Party in the Age of Obama: Yes We Can or No We Can’t?
By Thomas F. Schaller
What will it take to make the 2008 Obama triumph endure?

The Greening of America Revisited: Can the U.S. Create High-Skill Green Jobs?
By Andrew Ross
The U.S. is a Johnny-come-lately to renewable energy manufacturing.

Work and Inequality in the Global Economy: China, Mexico, and the United States
Chris Tilly and Kent Wong, guest editors

The China Road: Why China Is Beating Mexico in The Competition for U.S. Markets
By Ian Robinson
Public-sector investment, not low wages, gives China the edge.

American Chicken Feet, Chinese Tires, and the Struggle for Labor Rights
By Anita Chan
The Chinese labor federation has a mixed record protecting the interests of Chinese workers.

Confronting Globalization: Lessons from Puebla
By Graciela Bensusán and Chris Tilly
In the absence of stronger systems of international labor solidarity, employer-led worker protections may hold more promise for improving jobs.

A Good Job Is Hard to Find: U.S. and Mexican Autoworkers in the Global Economy
By Jeffrey S. Rothstein
Globalization has undermined labor relations in the auto industry and the decent jobs they defend.

In the Rearview Mirror
By Steve Fraser and Joshua B. Freeman
Revisiting the past to illuminate the present.

Economic Prospects
By Robert Pollin

Caught in the Web
By Liza Featherstone
Labor news, views, and resources online.

Books and the Arts

Unfinished Revolution
Sisters in the Brotherhoods: Working Women Organizing for Equality in New York City
By Jane LaTour
Live Wire: Women and Brotherhood in the Electrical Industry
By Francine A. Moccio
Reviewed by Mary Margaret Fonow

The China Watch
New Masters, New Servants: Migration, Development, and Women Workers in Chin a
By Yan Hairong
Reviewed by Katie Quan

Working-Class Self-Defense
Taking Back the Workers’ Law: How to Fight the Assault on Labor Rights
By Ellen Dannin
Citizen Wealth: Winning the Campaign to Save Working Families
By Wade Rathke
Reviewed by Marc Dann

Contemporary Working-Class Poetry: Lots of Light, Very Little Heat
Odes to Anger
By Jason L. Yurcic
Velroy and the Madischie Mafia
By Sy Hoahwah
Blood Will Tell
By Craig Paulenich
Bar Book: Poems and Otherwise
By Julie Sheehan
Reviewed by Peter Oresick

Out of the Mainstream: Books and Films You May Have Missed
By Matt Witt

Poetry

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