Monday, June 23, 2008

Summer Reading for Union Members

Mother Jones said it best: "Sit down and read. Educate yourself for the coming conflicts."

Feeling crunched, squeezed, squandered and screwed by the outright barbarous? Build your summer reading list around these must-reads from The Union Shop—and gear up for the political change we must make to turn around America. These titles offer plenty of food for thought.

Screwed: The Undeclared War Against the Middle Class and What We Can Do About It, by Thom Hartmann.
Air America Radio host Hartmann writes that our middle class has been dismantled over the past 25 years and replaced by a system to line the pockets of the super-rich and big corporations. He details the weakening of the safety nets for working people and argues that an empowered, educated middle class is crucial to a functioning democracy. $22.95
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Crunch: Why Do I Feel So Squeezed? (And Other Unsolved Economic Mysteries), by Jared Bernstein.
As Bernstein says, "economics has been hijacked by the rich and powerful, and it has been forged into a tool that is being used against the rest of us." Bernstein, senior economist and director of the Living Standards Program at the Economic Policy Institute in Washington, D.C., offers lay people tangible insight into what it takes to ensure that those who make it work also share its rewards. $26.95
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The Big Squeeze: Tough Times for the American Worker, by Steven Greenhouse.
America's workers are being squeezed by declining wages, rising health care costs, evaporating pensions, job insecurity and globalization, according to Greenhouse, who covers workplace issues for The New York Times. The book takes a probing—and often shocking—look at why, in the world's most affluent nation, so many corporations are intent on squeezing their workers dry. $25.95
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The Disposable American: Layoffs and Their Consequences, by Louis Uchitelle.
An eye-opening account of the devastating impact of layoffs on individuals at all income levels, this book traces the rise of job security in the United States to its heyday in the 1950s and 1960s and the factors that caused a U-turn beginning in the 1970s. Uchitelle gives specific recommendations for policies that encourage companies to restrict layoffs and create jobs. $25.95
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Going Down Jericho Road: The Memphis Strike, Martin Luther King's Last Campaign, by Michael K. Honey. The author combines labor history with civil rights history in a moving and meticulous account of the sanitation workers' strike that brought Martin Luther King Jr. to Memphis in early 1968. Honey painstakingly recreates the explosive situation into which King stepped after 1,300 sanitation workers, almost all of them African American, went on strike, including marches and sermons, King's assassination and its violent aftermath. $17.95 paperback. Find Out More and Order Today

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