Diary of a Strike


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by Bernard Karsh
Foreword by Sol C. Chaikin
University of Illinois Press

Second Edition

Diary of a Strike recounts the violent four-month-long strike that occurred in an upper midwest textile factory during the early 1950s.  In this new edition, Karsh identifies for the first time the town (Marinette, Wisconsin), the company (Marinette Knitting Mills), the union (International Ladies Garment Workers, Local 480), and the strike’s principal participants, while placing the strike’s achievements within the grim perspective of two decades of economic decline.

Diary of a Strike takes us into the very heart of the organizing process to reveal its effects upon the workers, the company, and an entire community.  Of the original edition, Harvey Swados in The Nation declared it “a most fascinating story….highly recommended.”  Today, more than twenty years later, Karsh’s portrayal of the strike remains a vivid reminder of the social and personal costs that labor disputes exact from us.

“Normally, when strikes are described, much is left out.  Scholars often lose the human drama, the sacrifice, the courage, the disappointment, the joys, even the humor.  Reporters, too, miss much of what a labor dispute is all about- the ebbs and flows, the subtle nuances of tactics, the improvisations, the countless decisions and details, the accumulation of small incidents that add up to a major confrontation.  I think a person has to live day by day with a strike to fully understand what is involved.  Short of that, he or she can read Bernard Karsh’s book.” -Sol C. Chaikin, president of the International Ladies Garment Workers’ Union.

Additional information

Weight 9.3 oz
Dimensions 9 × 6 × 0.5 in


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