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This edition of the free bulletin, World Wide Work, is published by the American Labor Education Center, an independent nonprofit founded in 1979.


New and worth noting…
*An Unreasonable Woman
by Diane Wilson (Chelsea Green). A true autobiographical story that is as engaging as a good novel. Written by a fourth-generation commercial fisherwoman in Texas who gradually got drawn into leading a fight against a multinational polluter and regulators who turned a blind eye. The writing style is stunningly original, full of humor and irony, authentic dialogue, and rich images and similes.
*Patrols by Walter Dean Myers (HarperCollins). A most unusual children’s book about war. Focuses on a U.S. soldier in Vietnam and his fears and feelings about the opposing army. Compelling graphics.
*Crossing Bok Chitto by Tim Tingle (Cinco Puntos). A beautifully illustrated children’s story about Choctaws in Mississippi who helped nearby slaves escape to freedom.
*Saving Troy by William B. Patrick (Hudson Whitman). The author spent a year with firefighters in Troy, New York, and provides an insider, non-sugarcoated account of the psychological as well as physical stresses they face. A rare up-close-and-personal window into a blue-collar occupation.
*Hokum edited by Paul Beatty (Bloomsbury). While this substantial collection is billed as an “anthology of African-American humor,” many of the items have intensely serious overtones. Includes poetry, jokes, short stories, rap lyrics, and much more by dozens of the best known black writers and public figures throughout American history.
*Re-Inventing the People by Shelton Stromquist (Univ. of Illinois). An academic study that argues that the failure of much of modern liberalism to embrace class issues has its roots in the same blind spot in the Progressive movement more than a hundred years ago.
*Letters from Young Activists edited by Berger, Boudin, and Farrow (Nation Books). Thoughts from an impressively diverse group of nearly 50 young activists about issues they face in their work and within the progressive movement. A few examples: Sarah Stillman argues that the self-described Third Wave of the women’s movement must become as concerned with economic and class issues at home and abroad as with personal and cultural freedom. Nell Hirschmann-Levy asks whether requiring gay and lesbian union organizers to hide their identities is the best way to build a strong and inclusive movement.
*A Right to Housing edited by Rachel Bratt, Michael Stone, Chester Hartman (Temple University). A comprehensive examination of the housing crisis in America, why past responses have failed, and what should be done.
*Inside Toyland by Christine L. Williams (Univ. of Calif.) A Texas sociologist worked for about six weeks each at two different toy stores, getting an inside view of class, race, and gender issues in the large-scale retail industry.
*Strikes, Picketing, and Inside Campaigns: A Legal Guide for Unions by Robert M. Schwartz (Work Rights Press). A practical and readable step-by-step guide to the legal aspects of setting up, conducting, and concluding a strike.
*Solidarity for Sale by Robert Fitch (Public Affairs). An attack on virtually everyone in the union movement, from Teamsters for a Democratic Union to the officials they have opposed, from John Sweeney to Andy Stern to union leaders who don’t like either one of them. The concluding chapter on what should be done features proposals from the Karl Rove/Grover Norquist/U.S. Chamber of Commerce wish list, including prohibiting union contracts that require workers who benefit to contribute their fair share in dues, eliminating legal certification for unions that have majority support at a workplace so those workers could be divided among multiple unions, and so on.
*Turning Life Into Fiction by Robin Hemley (Graywolf). A guide for the many aspiring fiction writers who aren’t sure where to get authentic material. Talks about how to keep a journal, write down one’s dreams, build on stories told by elders, and other techniques. Includes exercises.
*Trust and Betrayal in the Workplace by Dennis Reina and Michelle Reina ((Berrett-Koehler). Practical advice with lots of examples.
*Sundown Towns by James Loewen (New Press). Beginning in the 1890s thousands of communities in the Midwest and West began to drive African Americans out of their towns through violence, laws, and other tactics. Communities that today seem to have always been “naturally” all white were, in many cases, made that way through conscious policies.
*Forgotten Families by Jody Heymann (Oxford University). An account of how changing conditions of work in the global economy affect children and families around the world.
*A Blessing and a Curse
by Drive-By Truckers (New West). These working class southern rockers have made their most musical album yet, filled with lyrics that dwell on people living and, in some cases, overcoming the hard life.
*After Innocence
is a powerful documentary about men who have served up to 25 years in prison for crimes they did not commit – and who are now being released because of DNA testing or other new developments in their cases. One of the men was originally jailed after a rape victim picked him out of a line-up, only to be released years later when the actual rapist confessed. The woman who was raped now tours the country giving talks about the weaknesses of eyewitness testimony. Another subject points out how lucky he is that he was jailed in a state that does not have capital punishment; otherwise, he would have been executed before his innocence was finally proven.
*Kissed by Winter is an exceptionally moving and beautifully acted feature film about redemption that focuses on a Swedish woman who leaves her medical practice in Stockholm to be a country doctor in a small town in Norway after her young son dies in an accident she believes to be her fault. 
*Shipping Out is an hour-long documentary about women who make their living as ship captains or crew. ( www.shippingoutvideo.com)
Has a short, clever, and funny video drawing attention to the decision by singer Garth Brooks to front for Wal-Mart. Features a take-off on his old hit, “Friends in Low Places,” that is transformed into “Friends with Low Wages.” Take a look, and then email your friends with the link.
www.dminkler.com Poster artist Doug Minkler makes available some of his images for free download.
www.ironweedfilms.com A new effort to promote progressive, independent films and encourage people to organize house parties to watch them.
Correction: The title of A People’s History of Science by Clifford D. Conner (Nation Books) was rendered incorrectly in our last edition. We regret the error.
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