The Power in Our Hands


For educators who don’t whitewash history!

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A Curriculum on the History of Work and Workers in the United States

By William Bigelow and Norman Diamond
Monthly Review Press

Role plays and writing activities project students into real-life situations to explore the history and contemporary reality of employment (and unemployment) in the United States.

Complete with handouts and case-studies, this curriculum introduces students to key groups, events, and issues such as the Homestead Strike, the Union Maids, the Southern Tenant Farmers Union, “scientific management,” and the impact of racism on labor.

“This is a workbook in the best sense. Its approach is original, exhilarating, and, most important, practical. That most neglected of all subjects in U.S. schools-the visions and lives of working people-is faced head-on in this book. A must for all people who earn their daily bread.”–Studs Terkel, author of Working

“Pedagogical sophistication, ease of use, and intimate acquaintance with its topic make The Power in Our Hands not only the best ‘labor in the schools’ curriculum we’ve examined but one of the best social studies curricula ever produced. Diamond and Bigelow are due a vote of deep thanks from labor educators and classroom teachers who want to help their students effectively reach an understanding of labor’s role in American culture and society.”–Fred Glass, chairman, Labor in the Schools Committee, California Federation of Teachers

“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

Additional information

Weight 16.3 oz
Dimensions 11 × 8.25 × 0.5 in


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