There is Power in a Union by Philip Dray

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From an award-winning historian, a stirring (and timely) narrative history of American labor from the dawn of the industrial age to the present day.

From the textile mills of Lowell, Massachusetts, the first real factories in America, to the triumph of unions in the twentieth century and their waning influence today, the con­test between labor and capital for their share of American bounty has shaped our national experience. Philip Dray’s ambition is to show us the vital accomplishments of organized labor in that time and illuminate its central role in our social, political, economic, and cultural evolution. There Is Power in a Union is an epic, character-driven narrative that locates this struggle for security and dignity in all its various settings: on picket lines and in union halls, jails, assembly lines, corporate boardrooms, the courts, the halls of Congress, and the White House. The author demonstrates, viscerally and dramatically, the urgency of the fight for fairness and economic democracy—a struggle that remains especially urgent today, when ordinary Americans are so anxious and beset by eco­nomic woes.

From the Hardcover edition.

About Philip Dray

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PHILIP DRAY is the author of At the Hands of Persons Unknown: The Lynching of Black America, which won the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award and made him a Pulitzer Prize finalist, and Stealing God's Thunder: Benjamin Franklin's Lightning Rod and the Invention of America, and the coauthor of the New York Times Notable Book We Are Not Afraid: The Story of Goodman, Schwerner, and Chaney, and the Civil Rights Campaign for Mississippi. He lives in Brooklyn.
Published September 7, 2010 by Anchor. 818 pages
Genres: Business & Economics, History, Political & Social Sciences, Law & Philosophy. Non-fiction

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One sterling example was a “standoff” in Susquehanna, Pa., over fair pay, which showed to the workers how powerful they were in their ability to halt commerce over vast distances—and showed to the bosses how “clearing railroad tracks of belligerent people required soldiers with guns.” Dray revisi...

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“It troubled me that the great struggle of organized labor, and the value of that struggle, have largely been forgotten or marginalized as history,” says Philip Dray (Capitol Men, 2008, etc.), of his motivation for writing a comprehensive history of the American labor movement.

Dec 13 2010 | Read Full Review of There is Power in a Union

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