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World Wide Work

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


New and worth noting...

o Forest Blood by Jeff Golden (www.forestblood.com). Don't miss this excellent novel (best ordered from the web site shown).  Set in the Pacific Northwest, it brings to life the timber wars between big corporate interests and environmentalists, with forestry workers often caught in the middle.  It has all the elements of good fiction -- suspense, three-dimensional characters you come to care about, and a real sense of place and context.

o UNITED WE WIN.  SEIU, the AFL-CIO's largest affiliate, has produced a controversial paper and powerpoint presentation about the crisis facing working people and the labor movement and what should be done about it.  The paper argues that "the labor movement's current structure and culture actually stand in the way" of rebuilding workers' strength. To obtain a free copy, email Nicole Griffith at griffitn@seiu.org.

o Random Family by Adrian Nicole LeBlanc (Scribner).  Powerful journalism as readable as a novel, this account follows ten years in the lives of poor teenagers growing up in the Bronx surrounded by both big-time and small-time drug dealing.

o A Disturbance of Fate by Mitchell Freedman (Seven Locks).  An ambitious novel that tries to imagine what the U.S. would have been like if Robert Kennedy had not been killed in 1968 and had won the presidency.  The Democrats would have helped unions organize the South, Freedman says, and many other liberal fantasies would have come true.

o Good Faith by Jane Smiley (Knopf).  A novel that focuses on a real estate broker to recall the greed that exploded in Reagan's 1980s.

o Black Freedom Fighters in Steel: The Struggle for Democratic Unionism by Ruth Needleman (Cornell).  Focuses on five black steelworkers from the South who migrated to the area around Gary, Indiana.  Draws heavily on interviews so they can tell their own stories.

o After the Strike: A Century of Labor Struggle at Pullman by Susan Eleanor Hirsch (University of Illinois) provides a case study of how race and gender have played a role in keeping workers from building a strong labor movement.

o The Great Terror War by Richard Falk, and Calling The Shots: How Washington Dominates Today's UN by Phyllis Bennis (both published by Olive Branch Press).  Two more, highly timely books from an imprint of Interlink Publishing, which has been a leader in getting out quick analysis of U.S. government responses and alternatives post-9/11.

o War Against the Weak by Edwin Black (Four Walls Eight Windows).  This book shows that genetic engineering is not a new issue by exploring eugenics -- the effort to create a master race that was funded in the early twentieth century by the Rockefeller Foundation and Carnegie Institution.  More than 60,000 Americans were sterilized against their will in a movement that inspired Hitler's holocaust.

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