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Economics, Labor and the Workplace:
Recommended Reading

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Economics and Inequality:

Wealth and Democracy by Kevin Phillips (2002) is a sweeping political history of the American rich.

The War at Home: Economic Class War in America (2006) by Jack Rasmus is a hard-hitting examination of Corporate Americaís attack on working people since 1980 by a union activist and organizer.

Subterranean Fire: A History of Working-Class Radicalism in the United States (2006) by Sharon Smith

Inequality Matters: The Growing Economic Divide in America and Its Poisonous Consequences (2005) is a useful collection of essays. Similar books include Economic Apartheid in America: A Primer on Economic Inequality & Insecurity (revised 2005) by Chuck Collins and Felice Yeskel; The Wealth Inequality Reader (2004), a collection of essays and statistics from Dollars and Sense and United for a Fair Economy; A Field Guide to the U.S. Economy (revised 2006) by the Center for Popular Economics.


Economic Theory and Analysis:

Also check out lists provided by URPE.

The Conservative Nanny State: How the Wealthy Use the Government to Stay Rich and Get Richer (2006) by Dean Baker debunk the right-wing claim that conservatives are devotees of the free market. You can download the entire book HERE.

After the New Economy (2003) by Doug Henwood, editor of the Left Business Observer.

Contours of Descent: U.S. Economic Fractures and the Landscape of Global Austerity (2003) by Robert Pollin is a useful examination of the global economy in the late 1990s up to 2003.

The Market System (2001) by Charles Lindblom

The Fox in the HenHouse: How Privatization Threatens Democracy (2005) by Si Kahn is a useful introduction to the myths of right-wing economics by two experienced movement organizers.

The Wealth of Networks by Yochai Benkler is the leading examination of how commons-based methods are fundamentally changing how we produce and share ideas, information, and entertainment.

The ABCs of Political Economy: A Modern Approach by Robin Hahnel.

Small is Beautiful (1974) by E. F. Schumacher inspired a generation of radical economists.


Unionism and Labor History:

Labor activist and academic Kim Scipes has put together a useful labor bibliography with many more suggestions on labor-related readings.

State of the Union: A Century of American Labor (2003) by Nelson Lichtenstein is an excellent history of unionism in 20th Century America. Argues convincingly that a thriving labor movement is essential to a thriving democracy.

Low Pay High Profile: The Global Push for Fair Labor (2004) by Andrew Ross is a global survey of contemporary work conditions.

Laborís Untold Story (1955) by Richard Boyer and Herbert Morais is the history of the struggle for trade unionism. Originally published by the United Electrical Workers (UE).

The Hidden Injuries of Class (1971) by Richard Sennett and Jonathan Cobb addresses the internalization of conflict within the American working class.

The Worker Rights Directory (2006) by Jobs with Justice gives contact information for unions, global justice groups and student organizers.

Confessions of a Union Buster by Marty Levitt.

History of Labor in the United States (10 volume set) by Philip Foner

Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By In America Barbara Ehrenreich

Organizing to Win: New Research on Union Strategies Kate Bronfenbrenner

Strike! Jeremy Brecher

Sweatshop Warriors: Immigrant Women Workers Take on the Global Economy Miriam Ching Yoon Louie

Working Capital - The Power of Labor's Pensions (2001) is a collection of essays by various authors that explores some of the new labor/socially investment activism. U.S. pension funds control over $7 trillion. Labor has begun to use this power to challenge the feudal system of corporate governance and specific abuses such as offshore reincorporation and excessive CEO pay.

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