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This edition of the free bulletin, World Wide Work, is published by the American Labor Education Center, an independent nonprofit founded in 1979.

May 2007
New and worth noting…
*Outside the Box: Corporate Media, Globalization, and the UPS Strike by Deepa Kumar (University of Illinois). On the 10th anniversary of the UPS strike that was the most successful national worker action in a generation, a communications professor analyzes the methods used by the union to build public support, the failure of the company to respond effectively, and the frames the news media put on the story as the campaign progressed.
*Heat by George Monbiot (South End). As it has become harder for corporate interests to argue that global warming does not exist, a fallback message has been that doing anything about it will cause too much disruption in lifestyles that depend on energy use. Monbiot puts forward a concrete plan to cut emissions and discusses frankly what will and will not have to change.
*The Education of Ronald Reagan by Thomas Evans (Columbia University). Ronald Reagan as the hired voice of corporate America was the creation of Lemuel Boulware, GE's labor relations strategist, who paid the actor to spearhead a carefully designed campaign to win the hearts and minds of American workers. This history, told by a conservative Republican admirer, is thought provoking for progressives trying to rebuild a political majority after decades of being on the defensive.
*Understories by Jake Kosek (Duke University). A readable discussion of how race and class underlie environmental issues, focused on battles over the forests of northern New Mexico.
*Workers and the Wild by Lawrence M. Lipin (Univ. of Illinois). Using the Oregon union movement as a case study, the author examines how labor’s unconditional support for development to create jobs began to change in the early 1900s as working men and women came to value outdoor recreation and the conservation of public lands.
*River of Renewal by Stephen Most (Oregon Historical Society Press). An historical account of the interaction between native peoples, white settlers, and the environment, brought up to date with a profile of recent organized efforts to help native people, ranchers, and commercial fishing interests find common ground.
*The Father of All Things by Tom Bissell (Pantheon). A journalist who was born after the war in Vietnam travels to that country with his father who fought there. The book chronicles the debates they have and their interactions with Vietnamese of both generations.
*The Bee Tree by Stephen Buchmann and Diana Cohn (Cinco Puntos). A beautifully illustrated children’s book about a boy in Malaysia who undergoes a rite of passage to adulthood by climbing a tall tree by moonlight as part of a honey-gathering ritual.
*Los Angeles Noir and New Orleans Noir (Akashic). Two more in the series of noir anthologies based in a particular city.
*No Child Left Behind and the Public Schools by Scott Franklin Abernathy (University of Michigan). Analyzes the impact of the Bush education policy and the difficulty of measuring effective education through standardized tests.
*Labor, Free and Slave by Bernard Mandel (University of Illinois). Reissue of a 1955 study of the relationship between abolitionists and the emerging white labor movement before the Civil War.
*Hear and Now.
One of the best documentaries of recent years features a deaf couple in their 60s who decide to get implants so they can hear. Their story provides an in-depth look at what hearing impaired people face every day and a poignant view of aging, marriage, and family.
*Prison Town.  Rural communities across America have become company towns similar to those created in the heyday of coal mining and steel making, but now prisons are the industry that dominates the economy, politics, and culture. By following a laid-off mill worker and dairy worker who are reluctantly entering training to be guards, this film gives a unique perspective on the social damage the prison-based economy is causing..
*Mardi Gras: Made in China and China Blue. Two documentaries that introduce U.S. consumers to the young women in China who produce, respectively, blue jeans and Mardi Gras beads for sale in America. The director of China Blue spent years working on the film and as a result has terrific inside footage. Mardi Gras adds a dimension by juxtaposing happily unaware partygoers in New Orleans with the Chinese workers who supply traditional props for the celebration.
*The Boss of It All. The top executive at a Danish software development company invents a mysterious “boss of it all” who supposedly lives in America and is responsible for all the tough decisions employees just have to live with. When he decides to sell the company out from under the hard-working staff, he needs a signature from the made-up boss on legal documents. He hires an unemployed actor to play the part, and that’s when the film turns both hilarious and revealing about corporate culture in today’s world. 
*Store Wars. Shows events over a one-year period as a small town in Virginia decides whether to accept a Wal-Mart store.
*The Drugs I Need
by Austin Lounge Lizards (Blue Corn). Political satire that ranges from the clever to the obvious. Examples of song titles: One True God, We’ve Been through Some Crappy Times Before, Buenos Dias Budweiser, Xmas Time for Visa.
*Greatest Hits by Billy Joe Shaver (Compadre). The songwriter singing his own songs that other artists have made famous. The best: Old Chunk of Coal (“but I’m going to be a diamond someday”).
*Tangled in Our Dreams by Healy and Juravich (Finnegan Music). Old folk music style with songs about peace, friendship, rivers, and music.
*The Last Suit You Wear by Larry Sparks (McCoury). Traditional bluegrass sound with songs such as Lazarus and the Rich Man, Casualty of War, and The Old Coal Mine.
*The Phenomenal Ruthie Foster by Ruthie Foster (Blue Corn). If you’re in the mood for the blues.
*Detalles y Emociones by Los Tigres del Norte (Fonovisa). A new collection from the troubadours of the Latino immigrant experience.
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