title: The Man Who Hated Work and Loved Labor: The Life and Times of Tony Mazzocchi
author: Les Leopold
synopsis:A CIA-connected labor union, an assassination attempt, a mysterious car crash, listening devices, and stolen documents–everything you’d expect from the latest thriller. Yet, this was the reality of Tony Mazzocchi, the Rachel Carson of the U.S. workplace; a dynamic labor leader whose legacy lives on in today’s workplaces and ongoing alliances between labor activists and environmentalists, and those who believe in the promise of America.In The Man Who Hated Work and Loved Labor: The Life and Times of Tony Mazzocchi, author and labor expert Les Leopold recounts the life of the late Oil, Chemical, and Atomic Workers Union leader. Mazzocchi’s struggle to address the unconscionable toxic exposure of tens of thousands of workers led to the passage of the Occupational Safety and Health Act and included work alongside nuclear whistleblower Karen Silkwood. His noble, high-profile efforts forever changed working conditions in American industry–and made him enemy number one to a powerful few.As early as the 1950s, when the term “environment” was nowhere on the political radar, Mazzocchi learned about nuclear fallout and began integrating environmental concerns into his critique of capitalism and his union work. An early believer in global warming, he believed that the struggle of capital against nature was the irreconcilable contradiction that would force systemic change.Mazzocchi’s story of non-stop activism parallels the rise and fall of industrial unionism. From his roots in a pro-FDR, immigrant family in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, through McCarthyism, the Sixties, and the surge of the environmental movement, Mazzocchi took on Corporate America, the labor establishment and a complacent Democratic Party.This profound biography should be required reading for those who believe in taking risks and making the world a better place. While Mazzocchi’s story is so full of peril and deception that it seems almost a work of fiction, Leopold proves that the most provocative and lasting stories in life are those of real people.
title: Working-Class New York: Life and Labor Since World War II
author: Joshua B Freeman
synopsis: A “lucid, detailed, and imaginative analysis” (The Nation) of the model city that working-class New Yorkers created after World War II —and its tragic demise. More than any other city in America, New York in the years after the Second World War carved out an idealistic and equitable path to the future. Largely through the efforts of its working class and the dynamic labor movement it built, New York City became the envied model of liberal America and the scourge of conservatives everywhere: cheap and easy-to-use mass transit, work in small businesses and factories that had good wages and benefits, affordable public housing, and healthcare for all. Working-Class New York is an “engrossing” (Dissent) account of the birth of that ideal and the way it came crashing down. In what Publishers Weekly calls “absorbing and beautifully detailed history,” historian Joshua Freeman shows how the anticommunist purges of the 1950s decimated the ranks of the labor movement and demoralized its idealists, and how the fiscal crisis of the mid-1970s dealt another crushing blow to liberal ideals as the city’s wealthy elite made a frenzied grab for power. A grand work of cultural and social history, Working-Class New York is a moving chronicle of a dream that died but may yet rise again. 8 pages of black-and-white photographs.
title: In Transit: Transport Workers Union In Nyc 1933-66 (Labor In Crisis)
author: Joshua B. Freeman
title: Citizen Tom Paine
author: Howard Fast
synopsis: Thomas Paine’s voice rang in the ears of eighteenth-century revolutionaries from America to France to England. He was friend to luminaries such as Thomas Jefferson, Ben Franklin, and William Wordsworth. His pamphlets extolling democracy sold in the millions. Yet he died a forgotten man, isolated by his rough manners, idealistic zeal, and unwillingness to compromise.Howard Fast’s brilliant portrait brings Paine to the fore as a legend of American history, and provides readers with a gripping narrative of modern democracy’s earliest days in America and Europe.
title: My Glorious Brothers
author: Howard Fast
synopsis: My Glorious Brothers is the epic story of perhaps the most breathtaking chapter in the history of Israel, a stirring tale of courage for those who like to find meaning for today’s world in the great events of history.After witnessing a ransacked and desecrated Jerusalem, Simon and his four brothers — soon to be known and revered as the Maccabees — rise to lead an earthshaking rebellion. Their tale has almost no parallel in human history. Theirs was the will, fire, and unbending spirit that inspired the timeless rite of Hanukkah, transforming a society of farmers and scholars into an unconquerable army that would wage the first modern fight for freedom and the first victory for religious freedom.Master storyteller Howard Fast recounts the story of great battles, brutal atrocities, and undying love and loyalty. But it is also a sensitive and sure picture of a people and an age, in which the mood of a small but spirited segment of humanity two thousand years ago is recreated with gripping authenticity
title: Freedom Road (American History Through Literature)
author: Howard Fast
title: SNCC: The New Abolitionists
author: Howard Zinn
synopsis: SNCC: The New Abolitionists influenced a generation of activists struggling for civil rights and seeking to learn from the successes and failures of those who built the fantastically influential Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. It is considered an indispensable study of the organization, of the 1960s, and of the process of social change.
title: A People’s History of the United States
author: Howard Zinn
synopsis: “It’s a wonderful, splendid book—a book that should be read by every American, student or otherwise, who wants to understand his country, its true history, and its hope for the future.” —Howard Fast, author of Spartacus and The Immigrants
“[It] should be required reading.” —Eric Foner, New York Times Book ReviewLibrary Journal calls Howard Zinn’s iconic A People’s History of the United States “a brilliant and moving history of the American people from the point of view of those…whose plight has been largely omitted from most histories.” Packed with vivid details and telling quotations, Zinn’s award-winning classic continues to revolutionize the way American history is taught and remembered. Frequent appearances in popular media such as The Sopranos, The Simpsons, Good Will Hunting, and the History Channel documentary The People Speak testify to Zinn’s ability to bridge the generation gap with enduring insights into the birth, development, and destiny of the nation.
title: The Twentieth Century: A People’s History
author: Howard Zinn
synopsis: Containing just the twentieth-century chapters from Howard Zinn’s bestselling A People’s History of the United States, this revised and updated edition includes two new chapters — covering Clinton’s presidency, the 2000 Election, and the “war on terrorism.”Highlighting not just the usual terms of presidential administrations and congressional activities, this book provides you with a “bottom-to-top” perspective, giving voice to our nation’s minorities and letting the stories of such groups as African Americans, women, Native Americans, and the laborers of all nationalities be told in their own words.
title: The Zinn Reader: Writings on Disobedience and Democracy
author: Howard Zinn
synopsis: No other radical historian has reached so many hearts and minds as Howard Zinn. It is rare that a historian of the Left has managed to retain as much credibility while refusing to let his academic mantle change his beautiful writing style from being anything but direct, forthright, and accessible. Whether his subject is war, race, politics, economic justice, or history itself, each of his works serves as a reminder that to embrace one’s subjectivity can mean embracing one’s humanity, that heart and mind can speak with one voice. Here, in six sections, is the historian’s own choice of his shorter essays on some of the most critical problems facing America throughout its history, and today.
title: Socialism: Past and Future
author: Michael Harrington
synopsis: On learning his cancer was inoperable, renowned intellectual Michael Harrington simply asked the doctors to keep him alive long enough “to complete a summary statement of the themes I had thought of throughout an activist life.” And they did. Socialism: Past and Future is prominent thinker Michael Harrington’s final contribution: a thoughtful, intelligent, and compassionate treatise on the role of socialism both past and present in modern society. He is convincing in his application of classic socialist theory to current economic situations and modern political systems, and he examines the validity of the idea of “visionary gradualism” in bringing about a socialist agenda. He believes that if freedom and justice are to survive into the next century, the socialist movement will be a critical factor. This is the definitive text on the role of socialism throughout history which Publishers Weekly calls “succinct, readable” and the New York Times says “has a lively air of optimism and boldly challenges traditional ideas.”In this passionate book, the late Michael Harrington draws on a lifetime of thinking and politicking to reject much that has passed for socialism and to define the new forms that will make it the only “hope for human freedom and justice” (Foreign Affairs) in the twenty-first century.
title: The Next Left – The History Of A Future
author: Michael Harrington
title: Gene Debs: the Story of a Fighting American
author: Herbert & Cahn, William Morais
synopsis: Introduction to the life of the American Socialist Party leader and working class trade union organizer Eugene Debs. Debs, while in prison, garnered millions of votes running for US President. Written by two left-wing writers this is a populist book to have readers acquaint with Debs and his ideas.
title: Eugene V. Debs: Spokesman For Labor And Socialism
author: Bernard J Brommel
synopsis: The classic biography covering all of Debs public career of 52 years – as City Clerk and State Representative, American Railway Union organizer, and his conversion to socialism, five campaigns for the presidency and his leadership of anti-war dissenters and other causes. Based on research in family papers, this is still the finest sympathetic story of “the nation’s foremost radical hero, the most popular leader of a Marxist movement…”
title: Eugene V. Debs: Citizen and Socialist (Working Class in American History)
author: Nick Salvatore
synopsis: In this classic book, Nick Salvatore offers a major reevaluation of Eugene V. Debs, the movements he launched, and his belief in American Socialism as an extension of the nation’s democratic traditions.
title: The Bending Cross: A Biography of Eugene Victor Debs
author: Mike Davis
synopsis: Let the people take heart and hope everywhere, for the cross is bending, the midnight is passing, and joy cometh with the morning.—Eugene Debs in 1918Orator, organizer, self-taught scholar, presidential candidate, and prisoner, Eugene Debs’ lifelong commitment to the fight for a better world is chronicled in this unparalleled biography by historian Ray Ginger. This moving story presents the definitive account of the life and legacy of the most eloquent spokesperson and leader of the U.S. labor and socialist movements.
title: Harp Song for a Radical: The Life and Times of Eugene Victor Debs
author: Marguerite Young
synopsis: To set the stage for her protagonist, in whose struggles she saw acted out all of the conflicted forces that shaped industrial America, and to trace the roots of the American labor and socialist movements, the author opens up a sweep of history and an epic cast of characters. Here are Generals Sheridan and Custer, heroes of the Civil War, fighting the Indians in the West and the workers in the mines, the factories, and on the railroads . . . Alan Pinkerton, the radical weaver from Scotland who came to the New World and created an agency dedicated to destroying labor organizations. Presidents Lincoln, Grant, Cleveland, and Wilson appear. We see the dreamers, the reformers, the crusaders, among them Susan B. Anthony and Sojourner Truth. Here are Henry James Sr., who educated his children according to the tenets of Fourier; James Whitcomb Riley, author of “Little Orphan Annie”; James McNeill Whistler, whose father built a railroad for the czar of Russia; Samuel Gompers, head of the Federation of Labor; the governor of Illinois . . . who refused to call in the army to break the Pullman Strike, or the “Debs Strike” as it came to be called. Men and women, high and low, are caught by the author in the struggle to maintain ideals, in the fight for the rights and dignity of the individual that forged the American identity and ever afterward characterized the American culture.Marguerite Young takes us into the world of the men who led the American multitudes west before the Civil War–and shows how these pioneers were influenced by the French Revolution’s Saint-Simon and Fourier, and then by the German idealists Heinrich Heine, Karl Marx, and Wilhelm Weitling who visited secular and religious settlements across the United States.All these threads come together in the life and personality of Eugene Debs: his childhood in Terre Haute, Indiana, in the pastoral America that faded into a distant golden memory after the Civil War, when the town became a center of transportation for industrial expansion. We see Debs finding employment in the railroad yards, becoming caught up in the plight of his fellow workers, editing the union paper, traveling across the country, gathering the knowledge and acquiring the consciousness that inspired him to espouse collective action on behalf of labor, to found the Industrial Workers of the World, and to run as the Socialist candidate for president of the United States five times–three times from prison.We see the fierce struggle between the classes–and Debs in the thick of the fight–as the American promise opens up for the men and women in the factories, in the mills, in the stockyards. We see Debs the worker becoming a political leader, becoming a reformer, becoming the voice of the workingman, becoming the founder of American Socialism. Debs, reviled and loved, Debs with the look of a plain man, an austere country doctor, becoming a mythic hero of the age.A mesmerizing dual portrait of a man and a century.
title: Grass-Roots Socialism: Radical Movements in the Southwest 1895-1943
author: James R Green
synopsis: In Grass-Roots Socialism, James Green includes information about the party’s propaganda techniques, especially those used in the lively newspapers that claimed fifty thousand subscribers in the Southwest by 1913, and information about the attractive summer camp meetings that drew thousands of poor white tenant farmers to weeklong agitation and education sessions. In this broadly based study, Green examines such popular leaders as Oklahoma’s Oscar Ameringer (the ‘Mark Twain of American Socialism”), “Red Tom” Hickey of Texas, and Kate Richards O’Hare, who was second only to Eugene Debs as a Socialist orator.
title: Tom Paine and Revolutionary America
author: Eric Foner
synopsis: Since its publication in 1976, Tom Paine and Revolutionary America has been recognized as a classic study of the career of the foremost political pamphleteer of the Age of Revolution, and a model of how to integrate the political, intellectual, and social history of the struggle for American independence.
Foner skillfully brings together an account of Paine’s remarkable career with a careful examination of the social worlds within which he operated, in Great Britain, France, and especially the United States. He explores Paine’s political and social ideas and the way he popularized them by pioneering a new form of political writing, using simple, direct language and addressing himself to a reading public far broader than previous writers had commanded. He shows which of Paine’s views remained essentially fixed throughout his career, while directing attention to the ways his stance on social questions evolved under the pressure of events. This enduring work makes clear the tremendous impact Paine’s writing exerted on the American Revolution, and suggests why he failed to have a similar impact during his career in revolutionary France. It also offers new insights into the nature and internal tensions of the republican outlook that helped to shape the Revolution.
In a new preface, Foner discusses the origins of this book and the influences of the 1960s and 1970s on its writing. He also looks at how Paine has been adopted by scholars and politicians of many stripes, and has even been called the patron saint of the Internet.
title: The Iron Heel
author: Jack London
synopsis: Set in the future, “The Iron Heel” describes a world in which the division between the classes has deepened, creating a powerful Oligarchy that retains control through terror. A manuscript by rebel Avis Everhard is recovered in an even more distant future, and analyzed by scholar Anthony Meredith. Published in 1908, Jack London’s multi-layered narrative is an early example of the dystopian novel, and its vision of the future proved to be eerily prescient of the violence and fascism that marked the initial half of the 20th century.
title: Solidarity Divided: The Crisis in Organized Labor and a New Path toward Social Justice
author: Bill Fletcher Jr., Fernando Gapasin
synopsis: The U.S. trade union movement finds itself today on a global battlefield filled with landmines and littered with the bodies of various social movements and struggles. Candid, incisive, and accessible, Solidarity Divided is a critical examination of labor’s current crisis and a plan for a bold new way forward into the twenty-first century. Bill Fletcher and Fernando Gapasin, two longtime union insiders whose experiences as activists of color grant them a unique vantage on the problems now facing U.S. labor, offer a remarkable mix of vivid history and probing analysis. They chart changes in U.S. manufacturing, examine the onslaught of globalization, consider the influence of the environment on labor, and provide the first broad analysis of the fallout from the 2000 and 2004 elections on the U.S. labor movement. Ultimately calling for a wide-ranging reexamination of the ideological and structural underpinnings of today’s labor movement, this is essential reading for understanding how the battle for social justice can be fought and won.
title: The Autobiography of Malcolm X: As Told to Alex Haley
author: Malcolm X, Alex Haley, Attallah Shabazz
synopsis: With its first great victory in the landmark Supreme Court decision Brown v. Board of Education in 1954, the civil rights movement gained the powerful momentum it needed to sweep forward into its crucial decade, the 1960s. As voices of protest and change rose above the din of history and false promises, one voice sounded more urgently, more passionately, than the rest. Malcolm X—once called the most dangerous man in America—challenged the world to listen and learn the truth as he experienced it. And his enduring message is as relevant today as when he first delivered it.In the searing pages of this classic autobiography, originally published in 1964, Malcolm X, the Muslim leader, firebrand, and anti-integrationist, tells the extraordinary story of his life and the growth of the Black Muslim movement to veteran writer and journalist Alex Haley . In a unique collaboration, Haley worked with Malcolm X for nearly two years, interviewing, listening to, and understanding the most controversial leader of his time.Raised in Lansing, Michigan, Malcolm Little journeyed on a road to fame as astonishing as it was unpredictable. Drifting from childhood poverty to petty crime, Malcolm found himself in jail. It was there that he came into contact with the teachings of a little-known Black Muslim leader renamed Elijah Muhammad. The newly renamed Malcolm X devoted himself body and soul to the teachings of Elijah Muhammad and the world of Islam, becoming the Nation’s foremost spokesman. When his conscience forced him to break with Elijah Muhammad, Malcolm founded the Organization of Afro-American Unity to reach African Americans across the country with an inspiring message of pride, power, and self-determination.The Autobiography of Malcolm X defines American culture and the African American struggle for social and economic equality that has now become a battle for survival. Malcolm’s fascinating perspective on the lies and limitations of the American Dream, and the inherent racism in a society that denies its nonwhite citizens the opportunity to dream, gives extraordinary insight into the most urgent issues of our own time.The Autobiography of Malcolm X stands as the definitive statement of a movement and a man whose work was never completed but whose message is timeless. It is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand America.
title: The Souls of Black Folk
author: W. E. B. Du Bois
synopsis: This collection of essays by scholar-activist W. E. B. Du Bois is a masterpiece in the African American canon. Du Bois, arguably the most influential African American leader of the early twentieth century, offers insightful commentary on black history, racism, and the struggles of black Americans following emancipation. In his groundbreaking work, the author presciently writes that “the problem of the twentieth century is the problem of the color line,” and offers powerful arguments for the absolute necessity of moral, social, political, and economic equality. These essays on the black experience in America range from sociological studies of the African American community to illuminating discourses on religion and “Negro music,” and remain essential reading in our so-called “post racial age.” A new introduction by Jonathan Holloway explores Du Bois’s signature accomplishments while helping readers to better understand his writings in the context of his time as well as ours.
title: W. E. B. Du Bois, 1919-1963: The Fight for Equality and the American Century
author: David Levering Lewis
synopsis: The second volume of the Pulitzer Prize–winning biography that The Washington Post hailed as “an engrossing masterpiece”Charismatic, singularly determined, and controversial, W.E.B. Du Bois was a historian, novelist, editor, sociologist, founder of the NAACP, advocate of women’s rights, and the premier architect of the Civil Rights movement. His hypnotic voice thunders out of David Levering Lewis’s monumental biography like a locomotive under full steam.This second volume of what is already a classic work begins with the triumphal return from WWI of African American veterans to the shattering reality of racism and lynching even as America discovers the New Negro of literature and art. In stunning detail, Lewis chronicles the little-known political agenda behind the Harlem Renaissance and Du Bois’s relentless fight for equality and justice, including his steadfast refusal to allow whites to interpret the aspirations of black America. Seared by the rejection of terrified liberals and the black bourgeoisie during the Communist witch-hunts, Du Bois ended his days in uncompromising exile in newly independent Ghana. In re-creating the turbulent times in which he lived and fought, Lewis restores the inspiring and famed Du Bois to his central place in American history.
title: The Confessions of Nat Turner
author: William Styron
synopsis: The Confessions of Nat Turner is William Styron’s complex and richly drawn imagining of Nat Turner, the leader of the 1831 slave rebellion in Virginia that led to the deaths of almost sixty men, women, and children. Published at the height of the civil rights movement, the novel draws upon the historical Nat Turner’s confession to his attorney, made as he awaited execution in a Virginia jail. This powerful narrative, steeped in the brutal and tragic history of American slavery, reveals a Turner who is neither a hero nor a demon, but rather a man driven to exact vengeance for the centuries of injustice inflicted upon his people.Nat Turner is a galvanizing portrayal of the crushing institution of slavery, and Styron’s deeply layered characterization is a stunning rendering of one man’s violent struggle against oppression.This ebook features a new illustrated biography of William Styron, including original letters, rare photos, and never-before-seen documents from the Styron family and the Duke University Archives
title: Zapata: The Ideology of a Peasant Revolutionary
author: Robert P. Millon
synopsis: Work – originally published in 1969 – examines the ideology and program of the Zapatista movement. Goes beyond the agrarian issue to discuss the other economic, social, and political reforms proposed by the Zapatistas. Concludes that the program was ‘ant
author: John Steinbeck
synopsis: Before there was Viva Zapata!, the acclaimed film for which John Steinbeck received Academy Award nominations for best story and screenplay, there was the original Zapata.
In the research library of UCLA, James Robertson unearthed Steinbeck’s original narraive of the life of Emiliano Zapato, “the Little Tiger,” champion of the peasants during the Mexican Revolution. This story, upon which Steinbeck based his classic script Viva Zapata!, brilliantly captures the conflict between creative dissent and intolerant militancy to give us both a timesless social statement and an invaluable work of art.This new volume includes the screenplay, with copious notes by the film’s acclaimed director, Elia Kazan, as well as Steinbeck’s captivating narrative.
title: Crazy Horse: The Strange Man of the Oglalas
author: Mari Sandoz
synopsis: Crazy Horse, the military leader of the Oglala Sioux whose personal power and social nonconformity set him off as “strange,” fought in many famous battles, including the one at the Little Bighorn. He held out boldly against the government’s efforts to confine the Sioux on reservations. Finally, in the spring of 1877 he surrendered, one of the last important chiefs to do so, only to meet a violent death. Mari Sandoz, the noted author of Cheyenne Autumn and Old Jules, both available as Bison Books, has captured the spirit of Crazy Horse with a strength and nobility befitting his heroism.
title: Stone Butch Blues
author: Leslie Feinberg
synopsis:Published in 1993, this brave, original novel is considered to be the finest account ever written of the complexities of a transgendered existence.Woman or man? That’s the question that rages like a storm around Jess Goldberg, clouding her life and her identity. Growing up differently gendered in a blue–collar town in the 1950’s, coming out as a butch in the bars and factories of the prefeminist ’60s, deciding to pass as a man in order to survive when she is left without work or a community in the early ’70s. This powerful, provocative and deeply moving novel sees Jess coming full circle, she learns to accept the complexities of being a transgendered person in a world demanding simple explanations: a he-she emerging whole, weathering the turbulence.Leslie Feinberg is also the author of Trans Liberation, Trans Gender Warriors and Transgender Liberation, and is a noted activist and speaker on transgender issues.
title: Socialism . . . Seriously: A Brief Guide to Human Liberation
author: Danny Katch
synopsys:Opinion polls show that many people in the U.S. prefer socialism to capitalism. But after being declared dead and buried for decades, socialism has come to mean little more than something vaguely less cruel and stupid than what we have now. That’s not exactly going to inspire millions to storm the barricades.Danny Katch brings together the two great Marxist traditions of Karl and Groucho to provide an entertaining and insightful introduction to what the socialist tradition has to say about democracy, economics and the potential of human beings to be something more than being bomb-dropping, planet-destroying racist fools.