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November 1997 (Volume 49, Number 6)

Notes from the Editor

Ecology, a.k.a. environmental studies, is a relatively new area of scientific interest, mostly a product of the second half of the twentieth century and rapidly growing as the century draws to a close. It combines in one way or another most of the physical and social sciences, defies any attempt to force it into a neat definition of its own, and increasingly raises and attempts to cope with daunting problems such as the future of the human species and other forms of life on earth. No wonder it is an area not only of scientific interest, but also of excitement, confusion, brilliant insights, and stubborn adherence to self-serving dogmas. | more…

Labor Pains: Inside America's New Union Movement

Labor Pains: Inside America’s New Union Movement

Labor Pains is an insider’s account of the struggle to rebuild a vibrant and powerful trade union movement in the United States. It takes as its starting point the daily experience of a union organizer, and brings that experience to life. It enables us to grasp how the conflicting demands of race, class, and gender are lived in the new union movement. | more…

Worked to the Bone: Race, Class, Power, and Privilege in Kentucky

Worked to the Bone: Race, Class, Power, and Privilege in Kentucky

Worked to the Bone is a provocative examination of race, class and the mechanics of inequality in the United States. In an engaging and accessible style that combines thoroughly documented sociological insight with her own compelling personal narrative, Pem Buck illustrates the ways in which constructions of race and the promise of white privilege have been used at specific historical moments in two Kentucky counties to divide those who might have otherwise acted on common class interests. | more…

May 1997 (Volume 49, Number 1)

May 1997 (Volume 49, Number 1)

Notes from the Editors

In this space in last summer’s double issue of MR, we directed attention to the work of a worldwatch Institute in Washington, D.C., especially its annual State of the World, the first issue of which was published in 1984. The latest (1997) of these reports came out in February. By now this series is being translated into all the world’s major languages and constitutes what is probably the most comprehensive and available source of information on the global environment. | more…

Hungry for Profit: The Agribusiness Threat to Farmers, Food, and the Environment

Hungry for Profit: The Agribusiness Threat to Farmers, Food, and the Environment

The agribusiness/food sector is the second most profitable industry in the United States — following pharmaceuticals — with annual sales over $400 billion. Contributing to its profitability are the breathtaking strides in biotechnology coupled with the growing concentration of ownership and control by food’s largest corporations. Everything, from decisions on which foods are produced, to how they are processed, distributed, and marketed is, remarkably, dictated by a select few giants wielding enormous power. More and more farmers are forced to adopt new technologies and strategies with consequences potentially harmful to the environment, our health, and the quality of our lives. The role played by trade institutions like the World Trade Organization, serves only to make matters worse. | more…

Under Attack, Fighting Back: Women and Welfare in the United States

Under Attack, Fighting Back: Women and Welfare in the United States

This new edition updates a highly acclaimed work with an analysis of the most recent developments in welfare “reform” and welfare rights activism. Drawing on first-hand reports of women forced to leave welfare and other newly available data, Mimi Abramovitz documents the impact of this historic change in public policy on the lives of poor single mothers and their children. She punctures the highly publicized claims that equate successful reform with shrunken rolls, showing that if the reformers set out to improve the lives of women and children, something went dangerously awry. Abramovitz argues that welfare reform has penalized single motherhood; exposed poor women to the risks of hunger, homelessness, and male violence; swept them into low-paid jobs, and left many former recipients unable to make ends meet. | more…

Hitting the Lottery Jackpot: Government and the Taxing of Dreams

Hitting the Lottery Jackpot: Government and the Taxing of Dreams

Hitting the Lottery Jackpot is a timely critique of the economic and social costs of state reliance on lotteries to generate public revenues. David Nibert highlights the conflicting role of the state as gambling promoter to show who really profits—advertising agencies, TV stations, and ticket vendors—with less than half the money wagered returned as prizes. Hitting the Lottery Jackpotalso shows who loses: lower-income groups and people of color, who spend a much higher percentage of their income on lotteries than others. | more…

Whose Millennium: Theirs or Ours?

Whose Millennium: Theirs or Ours?

Written with droll wit and lyrical elegance, this visionary book challenges the chorus of resignation—the notion that there is no alternative, that profit is the best relationship between people, and that the market guarantees democracy. Daniel Singer insists that a more free and egalitarian society can be won, and he predicts that the new millennium will be an age of confrontation, not consensus, with Western Europe as a probable first battlefield. | more…

Meatpackers: An Oral History of Black Packinghouse Workers and Their Struggle for Racial and Economic Equality

Meatpackers: An Oral History of Black Packinghouse Workers and Their Struggle for Racial and Economic Equality

Available for the first time in paperback, Meatpackers provides an important window into race and racism in the American workplace. In their own words, male and female packinghouse workers in the Midwest—mostly African-American—talk of their experiences on the shop floor and picket lines. They tell of their fight between the 1930s and 1960s for economic advancement and racial equality. In cities like Chicago, Kansas City, Omaha, Fort Worth, and Waterloo, Iowa, meatpackers built a union that would defend their interests as workers—and their civil rights. | more…