From reviews of the first edition: "Zweig's investigation of politics goes beyond the electoral, focusing instead on how a broad working-class social movement (often in alliance with segments of the professional middle class) could reshape workplace and community power relations as well as national politics."-The Nation "Those who take (rather than give) orders at work are the working class; at 62 percent of the labor force, they are a majority distracted and diverted from its best interests for several generations. Zweig suggests the implications of this analysis for a number of key political issues, including the 'underclass,' 'family values,' globalization, and what workers get (and should get) from government. Putting class back on the table produces a thoughtful, provocative analysis of where the nation is going and what working people could do about it."-Booklist "In this pungent critique of class and economics in the United States -part economic theory, part political lecture, and part reportage of working-class life-Zweig offers an insightful, radical analysis that will make many readers rethink commonly held but unexamined beliefs. Zweig supports his arguments with statistics, facts and personal stories and argues with a forcefulness and conviction backed by a deeply moral sense of the dignity that is due to each person in their work and workplace."-Publishers Weekly "Michael Zweig provides us with a much needed discussion of class in contemporary American society. While students can benefit from the exposure to a perspective that is currently missing from the public landscape, union organizers and activists can also profit from his discussions of worker power and the rebirth of a democratic social movement among working people."-Contemporary Sociology In the second edition of his essential book-which incorporates vital new information and new material on immigration, race, gender, and the social crisis following 2008-Michael Zweig warns that by allowing the working class to disappear into categories of "middle class" or "consumers," we also allow those with the dominant power, capitalists, to vanish among the rich. Economic relations then appear as comparisons of income or lifestyle rather than as what they truly are-contests of power, at work and in the larger society.
In the second edition of his essential book—which incorporates vital new information and new material on immigration, race, gender, and the social crisis following 2008—Michael Zweig warns that by allowing the working class to disappear into categories of "middle class" or "consumers," we also allow those with the dominant power, capitalists, to vanish among the rich. Economic relations then appear as comparisons of income or lifestyle rather than as what they truly are—contests of power, at work and in the larger society.
The United States is not a middle class society. Michael Zweig shows that the majority of Americans are actually working class and argues that recognizing this fact is essential if that majority is to achieve political influence and social strength. "Class," Zweig writes, "is primarily a matter of power, not income." He goes beyond old formulations of class to explore ways in which class interacts with race and gender.Defining "working class" as those who have little control over the pace and content of their work and who do not supervise others, Zweig warns that by allowing this class to disappear into categories of middle class or consumers, we also allow those with the dominant power, capitalists, to vanish among the rich. Economic relations then appear as comparisons of income or lifestyle rather than as what they truly are—contests of power, at work and in the larger society.Using personal interviews, solid research, and down-to-earth examples, Zweig looks at a number of important contemporary social problems: the growing inequality of income and wealth, welfare reform, globalization, the role of government, and the family values debate. He shows how, with class in mind, our understanding of these issues undergoes a radical shift.Believing that we must limit the power of capitalists to abuse workers, communities, and the environment, Zweig offers concrete ideas for the creation of a new working class politics in the United States.
"Whether in regard to the economy or issues of war and peace, class is central to our everyday lives. Yet class has not been as visible as race or gender, not nearly as much a part of our conversations and sense of ourselves as these and other 'identities.' We are of course all individuals, but our individuality and personal life chances are shaped—limited or enhanced—by the economic and social class in which we have grown up and in which we exist as adults."—from the IntroductionThe contributors to this volume argue that class identity in the United States has been hidden for too long. Their essays, published here for the first time, cover the relation of class to race and gender, to globalization and public policy, and to the lives of young adults. They describe how class, defined in terms of economic and political power rather than income, is in fact central to Americans' everyday lives. What's Class Got to Do with It? is an important resource for the new field of working class studies.
Written by one of the foremost experts on the business cycle, this is a compelling and engaging explanation of how and why the economic downturn of 2007 became the Great Recession of 2008 and 2009. Author Howard Sherman explores the root causes of the cycle of boom and bust of the economy, focusing on the 2008 financial crisis and the Great Recession of 2008-2009. He makes a powerful argument that recessions and the resulting painful involuntary unemployment are inherent in capitalism itself. Sherman clearly illustrates the mechanisms of business cycles, and he provides a thoughtful alternative that would rein in their destructive effects.
Author: Chuck Collins, Jennifer Ladd, Maynard Seider, Felice Yeskel
Publisher: Cornell University Press
Class Lives is an anthology of narratives dramatizing the lived experience of class in America. It includes forty original essays from authors who represent a range of classes, genders, races, ethnicities, ages, and occupations across the United States. Born into poverty, working class, the middle class, and the owning class—and every place in between—the contributors describe their class journeys in narrative form, recounting one or two key stories that illustrate their growing awareness of class and their place, changing or stable, within the class system. The stories in Class Lives are both gripping and moving. One contributor grows up in hunger and as an adult becomes an advocate for the poor and homeless. Another acknowledges the truth that her working-class father's achievements afforded her and the rest of the family access to people with power. A gifted child from a working-class home soon understands that intelligence is a commodity but finds his background incompatible with his aspirations and so attempts to divide his life into separate worlds. Together, these essays form a powerful narrative about the experience of class and the importance of learning about classism, class cultures, and the intersections of class, race, and gender. Class Lives will be a helpful resource for students, teachers, sociologists, diversity trainers, activists, and a general audience. It will leave readers with an appreciation of the poignancy and power of class and the journeys that Americans grapple with on a daily basis.
Author: Jefferson Cowie
Publisher: The New Press
The highly acclaimed account of one renowned company's labor struggles in its rise to global power. Globalization is the lead story of the new century, but its roots reach back nearly one hundred years, to major corporations' quest for stable, inexpensive, and pliant sources of labor. Before the largest companies moved beyond national boundaries, they crossed state lines, abandoning the industrial centers of the Eastern Seaboard for impoverished rural communities in the Midwest and South. In their wake they left the decaying urban landscapes and unemployment rates that became hallmarks of late-twentieth-century America. This is the story that Jefferson Cowie, in "a stunningly important work of historical imagination and rediscovery" (Nelson Lichtenstein), tells through the lens of a single American corporation, RCA. Capital Moves takes us through the interconnected histories of Camden, New Jersey; Bloomington, Indiana; Memphis, Tennessee; and Juarez, Mexicofour cities radically transformed by America's leading manufacturer of records and radio sets. In a sweeping narrative of economic upheaval and class conflict, Cowie weaves together the rich detail of local history with the nationaland ultimately internationalstory of economic and social change. 22 black-and-white photographs.
The End of Men
Author: Hanna Rosin
“You have to…play by the rules so you can get to the top and change things.” -- Sheryl Sandberg A landmark portrait of women, men, and power in a transformed world Men have been the dominant sex since, well, the dawn of mankind. But Hanna Rosin was the first to notice that this long-held truth is, astonishingly, no longer true. At this unprecedented moment, by almost every measure, women are no longer gaining on men: They have pulled decisively ahead. And “the end of men”—the title of Rosin’s Atlantic cover story on the subject—has entered the lexicon as dramatically as Betty Friedan’s “feminine mystique,” Simone de Beauvoir’s “second sex,” Susan Faludi’s “backlash,” and Naomi Wolf’s “beauty myth” once did. In this landmark book, Rosin reveals how this new state of affairs is radically shifting the power dynamics between men and women at every level of society, with profound implications for marriage, sex, children, work, and more. With wide-ranging curiosity and insight unhampered by assumptions or ideology, Rosin shows how the radically different ways men and women today earn, learn, spend, couple up—even kill—has turned the big picture upside down. And in The End of Men she helps us see how, regardless of gender, we can adapt to the new reality and channel it for a better future.
Author: Dorothy Roberts
Publisher: New Press/ORIM
This groundbreaking book by the acclaimed Dorothy Roberts examines how the myth of biological concept of race—revived by purportedly cutting-edge science, race-specific drugs, genetic testing, and DNA databases—continues to undermine a just society and promote inequality in a supposedly “post-racial” era. Named one of the ten best black nonfiction books 2011 by AFRO.com, Fatal Invention offers a timely and “provocative analysis” (Nature) of race, science, and politics by one of the nation’s leading legal scholars and social critics.
White Working Class
Author: Joan C. Williams
Publisher: Harvard Business Press
Around the world, populist movements are gaining traction among the white working class. Meanwhile, members of the professional elite—journalists, managers, and establishment politicians—are on the outside looking in, left to argue over the reasons. In White Working Class, Joan C. Williams, described as having “something approaching rock star status” by the New York Times, explains why so much of the elite’s analysis of the white working class is misguided, rooted in class cluelessness. Williams explains that many people have conflated “working class” with “poor”—but the working class is, in fact, the elusive, purportedly disappearing middle class. They often resent the poor and the professionals alike. But they don’t resent the truly rich, nor are they particularly bothered by income inequality. Their dream is not to join the upper middle class, with its different culture, but to stay true to their own values in their own communities—just with more money. While white working-class motivations are often dismissed as racist or xenophobic, Williams shows that they have their own class consciousness. White Working Class is a blunt, bracing narrative that sketches a nuanced portrait of millions of people who have proven to be a potent political force. For anyone stunned by the rise of populist, nationalist movements, wondering why so many would seemingly vote against their own economic interests, or simply feeling like a stranger in their own country, White Working Class will be a convincing primer on how to connect with a crucial set of workers—and voters.
New Working-class Studies
Author: John Russo, Sherry Lee Linkon
Publisher: Cornell University Press
This book brings together historians, economists, geographers, sociologists, and scholars of literature and cultural studies to explore the emerging discipline of working-class studies and identify its key themes and issues.
Ebony and Ivy
Author: Craig Steven Wilder
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA
A leading African-American historian of race in America exposes the uncomfortable truths about race, slavery and the American academy, revealing that our leading universities, dependent on human bondage, became breeding grounds for the racist ideas that sustained it.
This is a new edition of the radical social history of America from Columbus to the present. This powerful and controversial study turns orthodox American history upside down to portray the social turmoil behind the "march of progress". Known for its lively, clear prose as well as its scholarly research, A People's History is the only volume to tell America's story from the point of view of - and in the words of - America's women, factory workers, African-Americans, Native Americans, the working poor, and immigrant laborers. As historian Howard Zinn shows, many of America's greatest battles - the fights for fair wage, an eight-hour workday, child-labor laws, health and safety standards, universal suffrage, women's rights, racial equality - were carried out at the grassroots level, against bloody resistance. Covering Christopher Columbus's arrival through the Clinton years A People's History of the United States, which was nominated for the American Book Award in 1981, is an insightful analysis of the most important events in US history.
The Motel Life
Author: Willy Vlautin
Publisher: Harper Collins
With "echoes of Of Mice and Men"(The Bookseller, UK), The Motel Life explores the frustrations and failed dreams of two Nevada brothers—on the run after a hit-and-run accident—who, forgotten by society, and short on luck and hope, desperately cling to the edge of modern life.
Salzburg and the Jews
Author: Stan Nadel
Publisher: Wipf and Stock Publishers
When I moved to Salzburg in 2002 I followed in the footsteps of thousands of others and fell in love with this quaint old city and its beautiful surroundings. I am a historian by trade and I was enchanted with walking the city's streets and identifying where various historical events had taken place. I am also Jewish, so I read all I could about the history of Jews in Salzburg and began to fit what I learned into the geography of the streets and buildings that I so much enjoyed. As I learned more about the city and its history, I found it unsettling to see the shadows of a very ugly past in the city I have come to love. I liked my first apartment, but I was not happy that one of Adolf Eichmann's associates lived in an apartment downstairs after it had been taken away from an elderly Jewish man... There are many such shadows in Salzburg, but it remains a beautiful city with many attractions. I certainly do not want to discourage anyone from coming to Salzburg to enjoy, as I do, its beauty, culture, food and wonderful beers. To the contrary, I would like to encourage others to come and share my pleasure. But I also want to share what I have learned with visitors to Salzburg who might like to know about some aspects of its history that are often neglected by the standard tourist guidebooks. (From the Preface)