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  1. Class Action: Reading Labor, Theory, and Value (Contestations)

    Class Action: Reading Labor, Theory, and Value (Contestations)

    $10.00

    This text attempts to contest capitalist economics and strengthen workers' organizations while respecting the importance of all members of society. It reveals the numbers of human lives marked for extinction by capitalist ideology and often erased by traditional Marxism. The author explores the plight of homeless and jobless people as an extreme case of how Americans' sense of self-worth has become entangled with the circulation of money and commodities. Learn More
  2. Borderline Americans - Racial Division and Labor War in the Arizona Borderlands

    Borderline Americans - Racial Division and Labor War in the Arizona Borderlands

    $23.00

    “Are you an American, or are you not?” This was the question Harry Wheeler, sheriff of Cochise County, Arizona, used to choose his targets in one of the most remarkable vigilante actions ever carried out on U.S. soil. And this is the question at the heart of Katherine Benton-Cohen’s provocative history, which ties that seemingly remote corner of the country to one of America’s central concerns: the historical creation of racial boundaries. It was in Cochise County that the Earps and Clantons fought, Geronimo surrendered, and Wheeler led the infamous Bisbee Deportation, and it is where private militias patrol for undocumented migrants today. These dramatic events animate the rich story of the Arizona borderlands, where people of nearly every nationality—drawn by “free” land or by jobs in the copper mines—grappled with questions of race and national identity. Benton-Cohen explores the daily lives and shifting racial boundaries between groups as disparate as Apache resistance fighters, Chinese merchants, Mexican-American homesteaders, Midwestern dry farmers, Mormon polygamists, Serbian miners, New York mine managers, and Anglo women reformers. Racial categories once blurry grew sharper as industrial mining dominated the region. Ideas about home, family, work and wages, manhood and womanhood all shaped how people thought about race. Mexicans were legally white, but were they suitable marriage partners for “Americans”? Why were Italian miners described as living “as no white man can”? By showing the multiple possibilities for racial meanings in America, Benton-Cohen’s insightful and informative work challenges our assumptions about race and national identity. Learn More
  3. On Our Way to Oyster Bay - Mother Jones and Her March for Children's Rights

    On Our Way to Oyster Bay - Mother Jones and Her March for Children's Rights

    $17.95

    Though eight-year-old Aidan and his friend Gussie want to go to school, like many other children in 1903, they work twelve hours, six days a week, at a cotton mill in Pennsylvania instead. So when the millworkers decide to go on strike, the two friends join the picket line. Maybe now life will change for them. But when a famous labor reformer named Mother Jones comes to hear of the millworkers' demands, she tells them they need to do more than just strike. “Troubled by all she had seen, Mother Jones wanted to end child labor. But what could she do? Why, organize a children's march and bring the message right to President Theodore Roosevelt at his summer home in Oyster Bay, of course!” Written by Monica Kulling, with vibrant illustrations by Felicita Sala, this picture book uses an entertaining story about fictitious characters to bring a real event in history to vivid life. The actual march raised awareness across North America and contributed to the passage of the first child labor laws. It offers an excellent model for how ordinary people, including children, can make a difference by standing up for what's right. For lesson planning, there's more about Mother Jones, the march and child labor laws at the end of the book. There's also information about child labor today and concrete suggestions for getting involved and helping, making this book perfect for discussions about social justice, activism and citizenship. Learn More
  4. Splintered Sisterhood: Gender and Class in the Campaign against Woman Suffrage

    Splintered Sisterhood: Gender and Class in the Campaign against Woman Suffrage

    $5.00

    When Tennessee became the thirty-sixth and final state needed to ratify the Nineteenth Amendment in August 1920, giving women the right to vote, one group of women expressed bitter disappointment and vowed to fight against “this feminist disease.” Why this fierce and extended opposition? In Splintered Sisterhood, Susan Marshall argues that the women of the antisuffrage movement mobilized not as threatened homemakers but as influential political strategists. Drawing on surviving records of major antisuffrage organizations, Marshall makes clear that antisuffrage women organized to protect gendered class interests. She shows that many of the most vocal antisuffragists were wealthy, educated women who exercised considerable political influence through their personal ties to men in politics as well as by their own positions as leaders of social service committees. Under the guise of defending an ideal of “true womanhood,” these powerful women sought to keep the vote from lower-class women, fearing it would result in an increase in the “ignorant vote” and in their own displacement from positions of influence. This book reveals the increasingly militant style of antisuffrage protest as the conflict over female voting rights escalated. Splintered Sisterhood adds a missing piece to the history of women’s rights activism in the United States and illuminates current issues of antifeminism. Learn More
  5. Homestead: The Households of a Mill Town

    Homestead: The Households of a Mill Town

    $27.95

    Homestead, first published in 1910 as one volume in the classic Pittsburgh Survey, describes daily life in a community that was dominated economically and physically by the giant Homestead Works of the United States Steel Corporation. Homestead, just across the Monongahela River from Pittsburgh, developed as a completely separate city -- a true mill town settled by newer immigrants and shaped in its attitudes by the infamous Homestead Strike of 1892. Learn More
  6. Workshop to Office: Two Generations of Italian Women in New York City, 1900-1950

    Workshop to Office: Two Generations of Italian Women in New York City, 1900-1950

    $23.00

    In turn-of-the-century New York, Italian immigrant daughters spent their youth in factories while their mothers did irregular wage labor as well as domestic work at home. By the I940s, Italian-American girls were in school, socializing and preparing for white-collar jobs that would not begin until they were eighteen. Drawing on a range of sources from censuses to high school yearbooks, Miriam Cohen examines shifting patterns in the family roles, work lives, and schooling of two generations of Italian-American women. Paying particular attention to the importance of these women's pragmatic daily choices, she documents how major social and political changes helped create new opportunities and constraints for the second generation. While financial need was a powerful factor in determining the behavior of the first generation women, Cohen shows, they and their daughters succeeded in adapting family survival strategies to new work patterns. Once the second generation was married, their careers mirrored those of the first in many ways: they raised children, cared for the home, and took on paid employment when necessary. Unlike their mothers, however, these Italian-American wives could also participate in the growing consumerism surrounding home and childcare. Throughout, Cohen compares the changing Italian-American experience with that of Jewish women, discovering significant similarities in these experiences by 1950. As well as presenting a nuanced portrait of one group of ethnic working-class women, Workshop to Office demonstrates the impact of political developments on individual lives. It will spark lively debates among students and scholars of social history, immigration history, labor history, women's history, and the history of education in the United States. Learn More
  7. Blue Jenkins: Working for Workers

    Blue Jenkins: Working for Workers

    $15.00

    When William "Blue" Jenkins was only 6 months old, he moved with his parents from a Mississippi sharecropper's farm to the industrial city of Racine, Wisconsin with dreams of a new life. As an African-American in the pre-civil rights era, Blue came face to face with racism: the Ku Klux Klan hung a black figure in effigy from a tree in the Jenkins family's yard. Growing up, Blue knew where blacks could shop, eat, and get a job in Racine - and where they couldn't. The injustices that confronted Blue in his young life would drive his desire to make positive changes to his community and workplace in adulthood. This new title in the Badger Biographies series shares Blue Jenkins's story as it acquaints young readers with African-American and labor history. Following an all-star career as a high school football player, Blue became involved in unions through his work at Belle City Malleable. As World War II raged on, he participated in the home-front battle against discrimination in work, housing, and economic opportunity. When Blue became president of the union at Belle City, he organized blood drives and fought for safety regulations. He also helped to integrate labor union offices. In 1962, he became president of the U.A.W. National Foundry in the Midwest, and found himself in charge of 50,000 foundry union members. Labor leader, civil rights activist, and family man, Blue shows readers how the fight for workers' and minorities' rights can be fought and won through years of hard work. Learn More
  8. Ecopolitics: Building a Green Society

    Ecopolitics: Building a Green Society

    $10.00

    Where do you place the blame for the environmental crisis-too many people? consumer greed? technology gone amok? And what do you think will save our planet-birth control? appropriate technology? recycling? eco-consumerism? Those solutions are just "Band-Aids on a bleeding Earth," argues environmental activist Daniel A. Coleman. Where conventional wisdom sees both the cause of the environmental crisis and its cure in individual actions, Coleman says: Look again. By blaming ourselves as individuals, we let governments and corporations off the hook. Making "50 simple" changes in our personal lifestyles is worthwhile, but must not divert our attention from the underlying causes of environmental disaster. The real causes are rooted deep in the politics of human affairs-and so are their solutions.We should be asking: Why do we allow such harm to our environment? How did we create a society with no stake in the future? How can we build a green society? The good news is that we can reverse the process of environmental abuse. Political strategies driven by the key values of ecological responsibility, participatory democracy, environmental justice, and community action are effective. Dan Coleman's stories of citizen groups whose grassroots organizing has already put ecologically sound policies in place demonstrate that the sustainable society is indeed possible. Lucid, lively, probing, serious, yet optimistic-Coleman's analysis is required reading for all who count the earth as their home. Learn More
  9. The Forging of a Rebel

    The Forging of a Rebel

    $19.95

    Originally published in the late 1940s, and never before available in paperback in the United States, Arturo Barea's astonishing Spanish trilogy is both the autobiography of a man and the biography of a nation during the first four decades of the twentieth century, one of the most crucial periods in Spain's long history. Arturo Barea was born into a poor family in Madrid in 1897 and spent his early years moving between the social and economic worlds of his beloved and widowed mother and a well-to-do aunt. Spain had just lost the last of its rich colonial possessions and was burdened by a sick and corrupt monarchy, and Barea's description of Madrid in The Forge-its slums and boulevards, beggars and children, and conflicting economic and political currents, is as gripping as it is fascinating. As with many of his generation, he developed bourgeois yearnings and became a prosperous businessman; yet he also became deeply concerned about the greed, corruption, and injustice he saw around him. His experience in the Spanish Army in Morocco during the bloody Riff War of the early 1920s, chronicled in The Track, affected him deeply and brought him back to Spain with a new perspective. The Clash jumps ahead a decade to chronicle the events in Madrid during the Spanish Civil War, from 1935 to 1939, when Barea and his wife, Ilsa, left Spain for good. His descriptions of people rising up to resist their aggressors are unforgettable, and brings home more poignantly and insightfully than any history the underlying conflicts, tensions, and complexities of the Civil War. Learn More
  10. Jewish Workers in the Modern Diaspora

    Jewish Workers in the Modern Diaspora

    $19.95

    Editor Nancy L. Green and an international group of scholars have assembled a rich selection of source materials--newspaper articles, letters, memoirs, posters, and literature--to reveal the many-faceted experience of Jewish workers who emigrated from Eastern Europe to the West in the early decades of the century. Through the voices of the workers themselves, their observers, and their critics, we come to understand the lives of men and women in a variety of circumstances--at home, in the sweatshop, in school, and on the picket line. To what extent were these Jewish workers alike? How did local conditions shape their experiences? What role did Jewish workers play in internationalizing labor movements? In addressing such questions Jewish Workers in the Modern Diaspora provides a much-needed comparative perspective on the Jewish working class. Learn More

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