working class history
Alabama Women, Like Predecessors, are Keeping a Strike Alive
by Kim Kelly
The Warrior Met Coal strike in Alabama has been on for more than 600 days. Labor writer Kim Kelly links miners' endurance to the work of women workers, miners' wives, and other women in past labor struggles.
SOURCE: Boston Review
"Treason to Whiteness is Loyalty to Humanity": A Posthumous Collection of Noel Ignatiev's Radical History
by Mike King
A posthumous collection of writings by the historian and labor activist reveals his practice-based thoughts on work, power, and politics, and the necessity of abolishing the idea of whiteness to create working class solidarity and power.
SOURCE: Boston Review
Three Paths for Labor after Amazon
by Harmony Goldberg and Erica Smiley
The organizers of the Staten Island Amazon union mobilized a broad sense of justice politics not limited to the workplace. It remains to be seen how they can win allies in labor and the government to continue to organize against a wealthy and hostile company.
SOURCE: The Baffler
Reading Noel Ignatiev's Memoir of Radical Political Awakening
The historian Noel Ignatiev's memoirs offer insight into the labor roots of his radical politics.
SOURCE: The American Prospect
Is the PATCO Era Ending?
by Joseph A. McCartin
Forty years ago, Ronald Reagan's handling of the air traffic controllers' strike enshrined the era of union-busting. Can labor start to recover now?
Blue Collar Is a Dark Masterpiece of Working-Class Cinema
The 1978 film "Blue Collar" is an important but overlooked document of a moment of crisis for the American working class.
Valor Roll: American Newsies in the Great War and the Flu Pandemic
by Vincent DiGirolamo
Newsies were a critical labor force in the early 20th century, connecting Americans to information. The author of a history of Newsies shows that their service drew praise in the First World War but suspicion in the ensuing influenza pandemic.
Lewis Hine, Photographer of the American Working Class
Lewis Hine's photographs, including for WPA arts programs, "contributed to an aesthetic of worker empowerment through images of strife and solidarity."
Remember The Essential Workers After COVID: They Deserve Better
by Joshua B. Freeman
All of us literally owe our lives to our essential workers. Let’s not forget it. Giving them a fair shake is not only a moral obligation, it will make a better city for all of us.
SOURCE: The Nation
The Age of Care (Review of Gabriel Winant's "The Next Shift")
by Nelson Lichtenstein
Labor historian Nelson Lichtenstein says Gabriel Winant's book on the rise of the care industry is the story of community change in the last 50 years, with union retiree health care dollars reabsorbed by capital through the treatment of diseases of despair provoked by deindustrialization (with care provided by a workforce of women and people of color).
Interview: A Rich Man's War, A Poor Man's Fight
Historian Keri Leigh Merritt, interviewed about the history of labor organizing in the South, links the history of Southern policing to the maintenance of exploitative labor practices after the Civil War and explains how the fight to unionize Amazon's Bessemer, Alabama facility extends the politics of the Civil Rights Movement.
SOURCE: Made By History at the Washington Post
The Triangle Fire and the Fight for $15
by Christopher C. Gorham
The Triangle Shirtwaist fire inspired workplace safety regulation and advanced the cause of organized labor. It's time to remember the victims with a commitment to a federal living wage law.
“Making a Living by the Sweat of Her Brow”: Hazel Dickens and a Life of Work
by Emily Hilliard
"Hazel’s song catalog is often divided into separate categories of personal songs, women’s songs, and labor songs. But in her view and experience, these issues all bled together; her songs address struggle against any form of domination and oppression, whether of women, workers, or herself."
From Red Finn Halls to The Lincoln Brigade: Class Formation on Washington’s “Red Coast”
by Jerry Lembcke
If the current crisis revives interest in class as an analytical concept, a recent book on union organizing on the Washington state coast offers a model for reconstructing the work, community and social life of a community.
SOURCE: New York Review of Books
The Wages of Whiteness (Review Essay)
Hari Kunzru's review essay examines the current vogue for white antiracism (and antiracist training) through the history of whiteness as a political and academic concept, concluding that many of the most popular books and multicultural pieties strip the idea of its structural elements and reduce it to a question of personal purification.
SOURCE: St. Paul Union Advocate
Lessons from Labor History can Inform our Labor Movement During COVID-19 Crisis
by Peter Rachleff
The story of the 1934 Twin Cities' Teamsters strike story shows how the union won better lives for its members by linking workers and their families to the union, other unions, and the community.
SOURCE: The Guardian
Malcolm Chase, 1957-2020
The social historian Malcolm Chase rejected “the enormous condescension of posterity” often to be found in history written by the educated rich.
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