There Is Power in a Union
The Epic Story of Labor in America
By Philip Dray
From the nineteenth-century textile mills of Lowell, Massachusetts, to the triumph of unions in the twentieth century and their waning influence today, the contest between labor and capital for the American bounty has shaped our national experience.
In this stirring new history, Philip Dray shows us the vital accomplishments of organized labor and illuminates its central role in our social, political, economic, and cultural evolution. His epic, character-driven narrative not only restores to our collective memory the indelible story of American labor, it also demonstrates the importance of the fight for fairness and economic democracy, and why that effort remains so urgent today.
“Ambitious. . . . It’s a big colorful tale, and Dray has a gift for characterization as he tells the stories of dramatic figures such as Mother Jones and Jimmy Hoffa, and dramas such as the Haymarket Riot and the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire.”—Chicago Tribune
“One of the great values of this beautifully written book is that it shows the centrality of labor and working-class organizations to America itself. . . . Dray comes into the ring with fists flying, and he doesn’t let up for a moment. If you love Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States you’ll probably love Dray’s history, too.”—San Francisco Chronicle
“The unending struggle between unions and big business has never been more vividly told. Philip Dray is a marvelous story teller who brings history memorably alive, and you will not soon forget the tales of murder and greed, commitment and sacrifice, that fill these pages. But this is more than history; the compelling saga of labor as a crucible for social change should prompt some honest and hard debate about what’s happening to working men and women today.”—Bill Moyers
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