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…
*My Body Politic by Simi Linton (University of Michigan). A must-read
autobiography by a woman whose legs were paralyzed in a car accident on
her way to an anti-war demonstration during the Vietnam War. Through her
warmly engaging, honest, and often humorous account of her own life and
the experiences of friends and colleagues, Linton increases the reader’s
sensitivity to the obstacles people with disabilities face at work and in
everyday life. She asks why their struggles for more equitable and
inclusive social policies are often ignored by progressive activists who
challenge other kinds of discrimination.
*Strike! by Julius G. Getman (Plain View Press). The rhetorical
sounding title doesn’t do justice to this entertaining and insightful
novel about a paperworkers’ strike in a small town in Maine in the late
1980s. Gives a rare inside view of human dynamics inside a local union as
the decline in the strength of the industrial labor movement is
*Red Stick Men by Tim Parrish (University Press of Mississippi).
Nine short stories describe working class characters in the shadow of the
oil industry in Baton Rouge who keep their humanity despite low wages,
layoffs, war, pollution, and other challenges.
*Communities Without Borders by David Bacon (Cornell). Photos and
text let immigrant workers tell their own stories of how they maintain
communities and movements that transcend political borders.
*Hadi Never Died by Abdullah Muhsin and Alan Johnson (Trades Union
Congress). Iraqi unionists were brutally persecuted under Saddam Hussein
and continue to face anti-labor policies under the current government.
This tells the story of the Iraqi union movement and one of its leaders
who was tortured and murdered in 2005.
*The Spirit of Disobedience by Curtis White (PoliPoint).
Out-of-the-box musings by a social critic who in the tradition of Thoreau
takes a step back and asks us where we are trying to go as individuals
and as a society
*Immigrant Students and Literacy by Gerald Campano (Teachers
College Press). Uses the author’s experiences as a teacher in an
elementary school where children spoke at least 14 different languages to
show how literacy can be improved by a curriculum that draws on students’
cultural backgrounds and experiences.
*Talkin Black Talk edited by H. Samy Alim and John Baugh (Teachers
Black language is seen not as an obstacle to overcome but a cultural
resource to be respected in this collection of essays on education that
includes descriptions of successful classroom approaches.
*The Ten Minute Activist by the Mission Collective (Nation Books).
A compilation of small decisions individuals can make to live in a more
ecologically correct way.
*A Common Thread by Beth English (University of Georgia). Tells
the history of the shift of the New England textile industry to the
South, with a particular focus on one company.
*Tim Hector: A Caribbean Radical’s Story by Paul Buhle (University
Press of Mississippi). While focusing on the life of long-time leader for
self-determination and social justice in Antigua and throughout the
Caribbean, Buhle also provides a broader history of workers’ and
progressive movements in the region.
*Las Soldaderas: Women of the Mexican Revolution by Elena
Poniatowska (Cinco Puntos). An insightful essay shedding light on
Mexico’s cultural roots by one of the country’s leading writers
accompanies archival photos.
The Devil You Know by Todd Snider (New Door). A new collection by the
talented songwriter is highlighted by “Looking for a Job” that captures
the loss of loyalty workers feel as employers no longer show commitment
to them. (See lyrics excerpted below.)
Wonder Wheel by The Klezmatics (Jewish Music Group). A
highly talented and energetic band that combines a wide variety of
musical influences has taken unpublished lyrics by Woody Guthrie and put
them to music. Guthrie was married to a Jewish woman and songs he wrote
for the Hanukkah season are contained on another Klezmatics CD, Woody
Guthrie’s Happy Joyous Hanukkah.
(From “Looking for a Job” by Todd Snider)
You can't talk to me like that boss
I don't care who you are
if you don't want to have to hang your own drywall
don't push me too far
Boomtown work ain't hard to come by
boomtown workers are
you might be the one running the show but
that don't mean you're in charge
I was looking for a job when I found this one
don't need the work like you need the work done
you look like you're under pressure
I was looking for a job when I met you
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as back issues of World Wide Work, are available at
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are welcome and may be sent to 2721 Quail Run Rd., Talent, OR 97540.