This edition of the free bulletin, World Wide Work, is published by the
American Labor Education Center, an independent nonprofit founded in
1979.WORLD WIDE WORK
New and worth noting…
*The Greening of Ben Brown by Michael Strelow ((Hawthorne). A unique
novel to savor not so much for its quirky plot as its masterfully poetic
writing style and rich, often humorous detail about characters in a small
Oregon town. The main character is a utility worker who suffers a major
electrical shock on the job, leading to dramatic change for him and the
town where he settles.
*Please Don’t Come Back from the Moon by Dean Bakopoulos
(Harcourt). A novel that teeters between hope and inevitable disaster
as it portrays the human reality of coming of age in ethnic
working class Detroit as the transition begins from industrial jobs to a
low-wage service economy, complete with an attempted 1930s style sitdown
strike by local mall workers.
*Made in China by Pun Ngai (Duke University). Who are the
workers in China’s exploding industrial sector? A professor spent eight
months working in an electronics factory, living in a dormitory, and
learning about the young women who have come from farm communities to
power the global economy.
*Mission Rejected by Peter Laufer (Chelsea Green). Poignant
personal stories of U.S. soldiers who have refused to continue to
participate in the war in Iraq.
*Ready, Set, Talk! By Ellen Ratner and Kathie Scarrah (Chelsea
Green). Practical tips for using talk radio, TV, and the internet in
*Teaching Defiance by Michael Newman (Jossey-Bass). Thoughts and
practical stories about adult education that helps people work for
*Work Songs by Ted Gioia (Duke University). Throughout history
people around the world have sung while they worked – but in the
21st century workplace they are more likely to listen to
others’ music if they have music at all.
*Challenging the Chip edited by Ted Smith, David A. Sonnenfeld,
and David Naguib Pellow (Temple University). A comprehensive look at the
effect of the electronics industry on labor rights and environmental
health throughout the world.
*Traveler’s Literary Companion series (Whereabouts Press).
Each book in this series is a compilation of short stories that takes
place in a particular country. An effort is made to represent different
regions within each country to reflect cultural variations.
*Jobs Aren’t Enough by Roberta Rehner Iversen and Annie Laurie
Armstrong (Temple University). Reports on a five-year study in five
cities documenting that jobs alone will not open doors to economic
stability for families facing poor housing, schools, health care, and
*Dreaming at the Gates of Fury by Alexander Taylor (Azul
Editions). Collected poems about love and politics by the cofounder of
*Rethinking Global Security edited by Andrew Martin and Patrice
Petro (Rutgers University). Ten essays on how the media and popular
culture are used to maintain an atmosphere of fear.
*American Methods by Kristian Williams (South End). From time to
time, scandals such as Abu Ghraib hit the news media. Williams argues
that these examples of U.S. use of torture are not exceptions but the
product of ongoing policies.
*Railroading Economics by Michael Perelman (Monthly Review).
Capitalists have long promoted the myth of “free markets” while
supporting government intervention that benefits them.
*No One Makes You Shop at Wal-Mart by Tom Slee (Between the
Lines). What provides the best path for consumers in an age of corporate
power – individual choice or collective action?
*The Small-Mart Revolution by Michael H. Shuman (Berrett-Koehler).
Argues that the “bigger is better” model of corporate globalization is
obsolete and that locally owned small businesses are gaining ground.
Tells what consumers can do to help.
*Tools of the Trade by Labor Occupational Health Program at
University of California, Berkeley. A 74-page handbook for action on job
safety and health.
*California and the American Dream
www.californiadreamseries.org) is a four-part series of one-hour
documentaries that includes “The New Los Angeles” by former Academy Award
nominee Lyn Goldfarb about the transformation of L.A. in the past 30
years into a breeding ground for progressive organizing; “Ripe for
Change” about issues related to the food industry and farm worker
organizing since the 1930s; “The Price of Renewal” about urban
redevelopment; and “California’s Lost Tribes” about the impact of the new
gaming industry on Native Americans and surrounding communities.
www.Merrimack-Films.com) is a 33-minute documentary about
collaboration between the Steelworkers union and a Wall Street investor
to turn around aging steel companies.
*Workplace Issues Today – daily abstracts and links to three articles
on work-related topics. To sign up to get this emailed to you daily, see
Free tools for effective grassroots organizing and communication, as well
as back issues of World Wide Work, are available at
Tax-deductible contributions to the American Labor Education Center are welcome
and may be sent to 1835 Kilbourne Place NW, Washington, DC 20010. Thank you.