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The Labor Wars

Readers' Cafe

Book Jacket for Antitrust Taking on Monopoly Power from the Gilded Age to the Digital Age style=
Book Jacket for Beaten Down, Worked Up The Past, Present, and Future of American Labor style=
Book Jacket for Communities of Ludlow Collaborative Stewardship and the Ludlow Centennial Commemoration Commission style=
Book Jacket for Consequences of Capitalism Manufacturing Discontent and Resistance style=
Book Jacket for The Edge of Anarchy The Railroad Barons, the Gilded Age, and the Greatest Labor Uprising in America style=
Book Jacket for Essential How the Pandemic Transformed the Long Fight for Worker Justice style=
Book Jacket for The Devil Is Here in These Hills West Virginia's Coal Miners and Their Battle for Freedom style=
Book Jacket for The Disney Revolt The Great Labor War of Animation's Golden Age style=
Book Jacket for Industrializing the Rockies Growth, Competition, and Turmoil in the Coalfields of Colorado and Wyoming, 1868-1914 style=
Book Jacket for Fight Like Hell The Untold History of American Labor style=
Book Jacket for The Great Cowboy Strike Bullets, Ballots & Class Conflicts in the American West style=
Book Jacket for Killing for Coal Americas Deadliest Labor War style=
Book Jacket for Labor Rising The Past and Future of Working People in America style=
Book Jacket for There is Power in a Union The Epic Story of Labor in America style=

Antitrust: Taking on Monopoly Power from the Gilded Age to the Digital Age / Amy Klobuchar

From Standard Oil, and the Sherman Anti-Trust Act, to the Progressive Era's trust-busters, Amy Klobuchar, in this large, compelling history, writes of the fight against monopolies in America. She writes of the breakup of Ma Bell, the pricing monopoly of Big Pharma, and the future of the giant tech companies (Facebook, Amazon, Google). She begins with the Gilded Age (1870s-1900), when builders of fortunes and rapacious robber barons such as J. P. Morgan, John Rockefeller, and Cornelius Vanderbilt were reaping vast fortunes as industrialization swept across the American landscape, with the rich getting vastly richer and the poor, poorer.

She discusses President Theodore Roosevelt, who, during the Progressive Era (1890s-1920) , "busted" the trusts (breaking up monopolies) ; the Clayton Act of 1914; the Federal Trade Commission Act of 1914; and the Celler-Kefauver Act of 1950 (it strengthened the Clayton Act) .

Beaten Down, Worked Up: The Past, Present, and Future of American Labor / Steven Greenhouse

From the longtime New York Times labor correspondent, an in-depth look at working men and women in America, the challenges they face, and how they can be re-empoweredIn an era when corporate profits have soared while wages have flatlined, millions of Americans are searching for ways to improve their lives, and they're often turning to labor unions and worker action, whether #RedforEd teachers' strikes or the Fight for $15.

Wage stagnation, low-wage work, and blighted blue-collar communities have become an all-too-common part of modern-day America, and behind these trends is a little-discussed problem: the decades-long decline in worker power. Steven Greenhouse sees this decline reflected in some of the most pressing problems facing our nation today, including income inequality, declining social mobility, the gender pay gap, and the concentration of political power in the hands of the wealthy.

Communities of Ludlow: Collaborative Stewardship and the Ludlow Centennial Commemoration Commission / Fawn-Amber Montoya

For more than one hundred years, people have come to the Ludlow Massacre Memorial site to remember the dead, to place themselves within a larger narrative of labor history, and to learn about what occurred there. Communities of Ludlow reveals the perseverance, memory, and work that has been done to enrich and share the narratives of the people of Ludlow and the experiences of those who commemorate it.

The history of the Ludlow Massacre encompasses the stories of immigrant groups, women, the working-class, and people of color as much as the story of that tragedy, and the continued relevance of these issues creates a need for remembrance and discussion of how to make the events of the Ludlow Massacre available to contemporary society. The book outlines recent efforts to remember and commemorate this important historical event, documenting the unique collaborations in public scholarship and outreach among the diverse group of people involved in marking the 100-year anniversary of the Ludlow Massacre.

Consequences of Capitalism: Manufacturing Discontent and Resistance / Noam Chomsky

Covid-19 has revealed glaring failures and monstrous brutalities in the current capitalist system. It represents both a crisis and an opportunity. Everything depends on the actions that people take into their own hands.

'How does politics shape our world, our lives and our perceptions? How much of 'common sense' is actually driven by the ruling classes' needs and interests? And how are we to challenge the capitalist structures that now threaten all life on the planet? Consequences of Capitalism exposes the deep, often unseen connections between neoliberal 'common sense' and structural power. In making these linkages, we see how the current hegemony keeps social justice movements divided and marginalized. And, most importantly, we see how we can fight to overcome these divisions.

The Edge of Anarchy: The Railroad Barons, the Gilded Age, and the Greatest Labor Uprising in America / Jack Kelly

"Pay attention, because The Edge of Anarchy not only captures the flickering Kinetoscopic spirit of one of the great Labor-Capital showdowns in American history, it helps focus today's great debates over the power of economic concentration and the rights and futures of American workers." -- Brian Alexander, author of Glass House"

In gripping detail, The Edge of Anarchy reminds us of what a pivotal figure Eugene V. Debs was in the history of American labor... a tale of courage and the steadfast pursuit of principles at great personal risk." -- Tom Clavin, New York Times bestselling author of Dodge CityThe dramatic story of the explosive 1894 clash of industry, labor, and government that shook the nation and marked a turning point for America.

The Edge of Anarchy by Jack Kelly offers a vivid account of the greatest uprising of working people in American history. At the pinnacle of the Gilded Age, a boycott of Pullman sleeping cars by hundreds of thousands of railroad employees brought commerce to a standstill across much of the country. Famine threatened, riots broke out along the rail lines. Soon the U.S. Army was on the march and gunfire rang from the streets of major cities. This epochal tale offers fascinating portraits of two iconic characters of the age. George Pullman, who amassed a fortune by making train travel a pleasure, thought the model town that he built for his workers would erase urban squalor.

Eugene Debs, founder of the nation's first industrial union, was determined to wrench power away from the reigning plutocrats. The clash between the two men's conflicting ideals pushed the country to what the U.S. Attorney General called "the ragged edge of anarchy.

"Many of the themes of The Edge of Anarchy could be taken from today's headlines -- upheaval in America's industrial heartland, wage stagnation, breakneck technological change, and festering conflict over race, immigration, and inequality. With the country now in a New Gilded Age, this look back at the violent conflict of an earlier era offers illuminating perspectives along with a breathtaking story of a nation on the edge.

Essential: How the Pandemic Transformed the Long Fight for Worker Justice / Jamie K McCallum

How essential workers' fight for better jobs during the pandemic revolutionized US labor politics Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, essential workers lashed out against low wages, long hours, and safety risks, attracting a level of support unseen in decades. This explosion of labor unrest seemed sudden to many. But Essential reveals that American workers had simmered in discontent long before their anger boiled over.

Decades of austerity, sociologist Jamie K. McCallum shows, have left frontline workers vulnerable to employer abuse, lacking government protections, and increasingly furious. Through firsthand research conducted as the pandemic unfolded, McCallum traces the evolution of workers' militancy, showing how their struggles for safer workplaces, better pay and health care, and the right to unionize have benefitted all Americans and spurred a radical new phase of the labor movement.

The Devil Is Here in These Hills: West Virginia's Coal Miners and Their Battle for Freedom / James Green

From before the dawn of the 20th century until the arrival of the New Deal, one of the most protracted and deadly labor struggles in American history was waged in West Virginia. On one side were powerful corporations whose millions bought armed guards and political influence. On the other side were 50,000 mine workers, the nation's largest labor union, and the legendary "miners' angel," Mother Jones. The fight for unionization and civil rights sparked a political crisis verging on civil war that stretched from the creeks and hollows to the courts and the US Senate.

In The Devil is Here in These Hills, celebrated labor historian James Green tells the story of West Virginia and coal like never before.The value of West Virginia's coalfields had been known for decades, and after rail arrived in the 1870s, industrialists pushed fast into the wilderness, digging mines and building company towns where they wielded nearly complete control over everyday life.

The Disney Revolt: The Great Labor War of Animation's Golden Age / Jake S. Friedman

An essential piece of Disney history has been unreported for eighty years. Soon after the birth of Mickey Mouse, one animator raised the Disney Studio far beyond Walt's expectations. That animator also led a union war that almost destroyed it. Art Babbitt animated for the Disney studio throughout the 1930s and through 1941, years in which he and Walt were jointly driven to elevate animation as an art form, up through Snow White, Pinocchio, and Fantasia. But as America prepared for World War II, labor unions spread across Hollywood. Disney fought the unions while Babbitt embraced them. Soon, angry Disney cartoon characters graced picket signs as hundreds of animation artists went out on strike. Adding fuel to the fire was Willie Bioff, one of Al Capone's wiseguys who was seizing control of Hollywood workers and vied for the animators' union.

Industrializing the Rockies: Growth, Competition, and Turmoil in the Coalfields of Colorado and Wyoming, 1868-1914 / David A. Wolff

The two defining moments of Western coalfield labor relations have been massacres: Wyoming's Rock Springs Massacre of 1885 and Colorado's Ludlow Massacre of 1914. But it wasn't just the company guns that were responsible for the deaths of 28 Chinese coal miners and 13 women a

Fight Like Hell: The Untold History of American Labor / Kim Kelly

A revelatory and inclusive history of the American labor movement, from journalist Kim Kelly.

The history of organized labor in America all too often conjures a bygone era and generic images of slick-haired strongmen and hard-hatted construction workers. But in fact, one of America's first unions was founded by Black Mississippi freedwomen in the 1860s. Jewish immigrant garment workers were instrumental in getting worker protections incorporated into FDR's New Deal. Latino- and Asian-American farmworkers in California were 1970s pioneers in the fight for racial inclusion and a fair wage. And today, the Amazon warehouse employees fighting to unionize in Bessemer, Alabama are 85% Black.

In Fight Like Hell, Teen Vogue labor columnist and independent journalist Kim Kelly tells a definitive history of the labor movement and the people - workers, organizers, and their allies - who risked everything to win fair wages, better working conditions, disability protections, and an eight-hour workday.

The Great Cowboy Strike: Bullets, Ballots & Class Conflicts in the American West / MARK LAUSE

When cowboys were workers and battled their bossesAlthough later made an icon of "rugged individualism," the American cowboy was a grossly exploited and underpaid seasonal worker, who waged a series of militant strikes in the generally isolated and neglected corners of the Old West.

Mark Lause examines those neglected labour conflicts, couching them in the context of the bitter and violent "range wars" that broke out periodically across the region, and locating both among the political insurgencies endemic to the American West in the so-called Gilded Age.

Killing for Coal: Americas Deadliest Labor War / Thomas G Andrews

On a spring morning in 1914, in the stark foothills of southern Colorado, members of the United Mine Workers of America clashed with guards employed by the Rockefeller family, and a state militia beholden to Colorados industrial barons. When the dust settled, nineteen men, women, and children among the miners families lay dead. The strikers had killed at least thirty men, destroyed six mines, and laid waste to two company towns.

Killing for Coal offers a bold and original perspective on the 1914 Ludlow Massacre and the "Great Coalfield War." In a sweeping story of transformation that begins in the coal beds and culminates with the deadliest strike in American history, Thomas Andrews illuminates the causes and consequences of the militancy that erupted in colliers strikes over the course of nearly half a century. He reveals a complex world shaped by the connected forces of land, labor, corporate industrialization, and workers resistance.

Brilliantly conceived and written, this book takes the organic world as its starting point. The resulting elucidation of the coalfield wars goes far beyond traditional labor history. Considering issues of social and environmental justice in the context of an economy dependent on fossil fuel, Andrews makes a powerful case for rethinking the relationships that unite and divide workers, consumers, capitalists, and the natural world.

Labor Rising: The Past and Future of Working People in America / Richard Greenwald

When Wisconsin governor Scott Walker threatened the collective bargaining rights of the state?s public sector employees in early 2011, the massive protests that erupted inresponse put the labor movement back on the nation?s front pages. It was a fleeting reminder of a not-so-distant past when the ?labor question??and the power of organized labor?was part and parcel of a century-long struggle for justice and equality in America.

Now, on the heels of the expansive Occupy Wall Street movement and midterm election outcomes that are encouraging for the labor movement, the lessons of history are a vital handhold for the thousands of activists and citizens everywhere who sense that something has gone terribly wrong. This pithy and accessible volume provides readers with an understanding of the history that is directly relevant to the economic and political crises working people face today, and points the way to a revitalized twenty-first-century labor movement.

There is Power in a Union: The Epic Story of Labor in America / Philip Dray

From an award-winning historian, a stirring (and timely) narrative history of American labor from the dawn of the industrial age to the present day. From the textile mills of Lowell, Massachusetts, the first real factories in America, to the triumph of unions in the twentieth century and their waning influence today, the con?test between labor and capital for their share of American bounty has shaped our national experience.

Philip Dray?s ambition is to show us the vital accomplishments of organized labor in that time and illuminate its central role in our social, political, economic, and cultural evolution. There Is Power in a Union is an epic, character-driven narrative that locates this struggle for security and dignity in all its various settings: on picket lines and in union halls, jails, assembly lines, corporate boardrooms, the courts, the halls of Congress, and the White House.

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Poudre River Public Library District (970) 221-6740
Including the collection of Front Range Community College, Larimer Campus

Library logo

Facebook Twitter Instagram LinkedIn You Tube

Poudre River Public Library District
(970) 221-6740

Including the collection of
Front Range Community College, Larimer Campus