Class war, USA : dispatches from the front lines of workers' struggles in America

by Brandon Weber

Paper Book, 2018

Description

Class War, USA is a rich collection of stories about ordinary people who resisted oppression and exploitation against all odds. Brandon Weber's succinct and vivid essays capture crucial moments of struggle when working-class people built movements of hope and defiance. Evocative imagery, archival photographs, and descriptive text make history come alive in these pages. From the mines to the factories to the fields, Weber shares the experiences of the real-life men and women who organized, heroically resisted, and battled the bosses and corrupt politicians. In the spirit of A People's History of the United States, this book conveys engaging and accessible narratives of ordinary people who led labor struggles that have indelibly shaped American history… (more)

Status

Available

Call number

322/.20973

Tags

Publication

Chicago, Illinois : Haymarket Books, 2018.

Collection

User reviews

LibraryThing member lostinalibrary
Since the election of Trump as president of the United States, there has been much disussion at least on social media about the working class, most of it accusing white working class males of putting him into the White House. Statistically, in fact, they didn’t but it has brought the working
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class back into the dialogue. The US has a long and proud history of class struggle, sadly it seems much of it forgotten. In his book, Class War, USA, Brandon Weber discusses many of the strikes, rebellions, and actions as well as many of the people in the forefront that are are responsible for many of the benefits that people today take for granted: the eight-hour work day, end of child labour, health and safety regulations, pensions etc. He does discuss eg the 1914 WWI Christmas truce in which German and Allied soldiers crossed lines to trade gifts and celebrate together. But, as the title suggest, most of the book deals with class struggles in the USA including the Ludlow Massacre, the Triangle Shirtwaist fire, WWI vets strike, the general strike that led to the Chicago Haymarket massacre that is still commemorated every May 1st around the world, the destruction of Black Wall Street, the United Farmworkers and the grape boycott, the Stonewall Rebellion, Attica, the 1970 Postal Workers’ wildcat, and the more recent UPS strike. He also discusses some of the music that has arisen from these struggles including Woody Guthrie’s best known song, This Land is Your Land and why much of the song rarely gets sung.

Class War, USA is a fairly short book and Weber gives only short descriptions of each event. It is, really, an introduction to class struggle in the US but it is a very interesting one, covering a great deal of the history from the 19th c. to the present and is a great place to start for anyone interested in America’s class history and how it has shaped the country. At a time when unions are on the wane and much of the working class throughout the west have suffered from the austerity that has accompanied neoliberal economic policies, it is easy to become despondent about the direction not only of the US but of the west in general, it is heartening to see that people have faced many similar struggles in the past and, through solidarity, they have overcome.

Thanks to Edelweiss+ and Haymarket Books for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review
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LibraryThing member Diana_Long_Thomas
Book received from Edelweiss.

This book is an anthology of stories about making things better for the lower classes in America. It discusses the various strikes including the Triangle Shirtwaist Strike. As well as those who fought for the people involved including folk singers like Woody Guthrie.
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Some of the stories were better written and researched than others, but I did learn quite a bit from this book. It discusses era in our history that I consider too new for the parts of history I enjoy reading about the most.
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Language

Original publication date

2018

ISBN

160846847X / 9781608468478

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