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Under the Raj: Prostitution in Colonial Bengal

Under the Raj: Prostitution in Colonial Bengal

Under the Raj explores the world of the prostitute, seeking to understand the culture of the trade and its impact on society, in the changing reality of nineteenth century Bengal. Sumanta Banerjee outlines the class structure that emerged within the profession, examines popular perceptions of prostitution and analyzes the complex relationship between the newly educated Bengali bhadralok society and the prostitute community. Banerjee gives voice to the prostitutes themselves, from which we hear their songs, letters, and writings, collected and reproduced from both oral tradition and printed sources. | 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…

Rising from the Ashes? Labor in the Age of "Global" Capitalism

Rising from the Ashes? Labor in the Age of “Global” Capitalism

Big changes in the global economy and world politics have put new questions on the table for labor movements around the world. Can workers regain the initiative against the tidal wave of corporate downsizing and government cutbacks? Can unions revive their ranks and reignite the public imagination? Is labor rising from the ashes? | more…

A New Labor Movement for a New Century

A New Labor Movement for a New Century

“Labor has finally awakened from a long, deep sleep.” So declared one observer after the victory of John J. Sweeney’s “New Voice” slate in the 1995 contest for leadership of the U.S. trade union federation, the AFL-CIO. Sweeney’s team promised to make organizing its top priority, and new stirrings in labor have brought unprecedented media attention. With a surprisingly popular and victorious nationwide strike at United Parcel Service in 1997, hopes have risen for a new labor movement. | more…

Longer Hours, Fewer Jobs: Employment and Unemployment in the United States

Longer Hours, Fewer Jobs: Employment and Unemployment in the United States

Millions unemployed… fewer people working harder for less pay and shrinking benefits… the assets of the wealthiest one percent of the population growing as the population below the poverty line swells… the next generation facing an even more bitter future… Why? Most working people cannot answer this question. In this user-friendly book, Michael Yates explains how employment and unemployment are inextricably connected in an economic system where employers are driven by the search for profits. | more…

The Power in Our Hands: A Curriculum on the History of Work and Workers in the United States

The Power in Our Hands: A Curriculum on the History of Work and Workers in the United States

This celebrated book provides entertaining, easy-to-use lesson plans for teaching labor history. “Most school teachers are drowned in paper, but here is one book I want to recommend to them. It is a way of getting American teenagers not just interested, but excited and passionate about their history—modern American labor history.” —Pete Seeger | more…

The Politics of U.S. Labor: From the Great Depression to the New Deal

The Politics of U.S. Labor: From the Great Depression to the New Deal

The alliance of the industrial labor movement with the Democratic Party under Franklin D. Roosevelt has, perhaps more than any other factor, shaped the course of class relations in the United States over the ensuing forty years. Much has been written on the interests that were thereby served, and those that were co-opted. In this detailed examination of the strategies pursued by both radical labor and the capitalist class in the struggle for industrial unionism, David Milton argues that while radical social change and independent political action were traded off by the industrial working class for economic rights, this was neither automatic nor inevitable. Rather, the outcome was the result of a fierce struggle in which capital fought labor and both fought for control over government labor policy. | more…

Bureaucracy and the Labor Process: The Transformation of U.S. Industry, 1860–1920

Bureaucracy and the Labor Process: The Transformation of U.S. Industry, 1860–1920

This book makes the argument, supported by rich and extensive historical research into original sources, that it is possible to revolutionize work so that it can be, in the author’s words, “satisfying, creative, and stimulating at the same time that it is materially productive: we can have material abundance along with interesting work.” | more…