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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…
*Class Dismissed
is a one-hour discussion of the way mainstream TV shapes negative stereotypes of working class people and covers up class, race, and gender issues in America. The film features telling clips from many shows from the 1950s to the present, along with talking head commentary from a variety of professors. See www.mediaed.org
*Clear Cut is a fair-minded documentary about the culture clash in a rural Oregon town between the Christian-right heirs to the local logging fortune and the elected school board. The logging magnate’s family traditionally paid state college tuition for every interested graduate of the high school, but in recent years pulled their money to protest science classes about the ecology of the forestry industry, the formation of a gay and lesbian students’ club, and other changes.
*Half Empty is a funny feature film about a “happiness consultant” to corporate leaders. With his new book not selling in the U.S., the fun begins when his handlers send him to Germany to be escorted by a local woman to book signings and an appearance at a workshop for global managers.
*A People’s History of the Civil War
by David Williams (The New Press). A counterpoint to the many accounts of the war that focus on military strategy at the top, this history tells how the war was experienced by working people on both sides who bore the brunt and suffered in the aftermath.
*Chicken by Steve Striffler (Yale University). Striffler worked in a chicken processing plant as part of his research into the poultry industry which he argues harms farmers, workers, and consumers as it now operates. His reporting includes a close-up look at the interactions between immigrant workers and southern towns where many chicken plants are located.
*The Global Class War by Jeff Faux (Wiley) argues that “the majority of ordinary citizens of Canada, Mexico, and the United States have more in common with each other than they do with the transnational elites who now govern their nations.” Faux examines the actual impact of NAFTA and proposes a new continental democracy.
*The Betrayal of Work by Beth Shulman (New Press). A new paperback edition of the book that examines the social impact of having one in four workers – 30 million Americans – paid wages below the poverty line.
*Conned by Sasha Abramsky and Race to Incarcerate by Marc Mauer (New Press). Mauer’s updated book examines the growth of the largest prison industry in the world, while Abramsky’s shows how denying the vote to four million mostly poor, black, and brown ex-prisoners who have served their time makes the difference in many local, state, and national elections.
*The Disposable American by Louis Uchitelle (Knopf). A probe into the causes and human effects of layoffs in today’s economy, challenging the myths that training programs are the principal solution and that so-called downsizing is just a necessary if painful step toward creation of more and better jobs.
Jane Fonda’s War by Mary Hershberger (The New Press). At a time when many celebrities are afraid to speak out on public issues, this well written history looks back at what Fonda actually did during the Vietnam war.
*Atomik Aztex by Sesshu Foster (City Lights). A gonzo novel that flashes back and forth between CIO organizing in an L.A. slaughterhouse to life after the Aztecs conquered the Europeans to the invasion of Russia during World War II, and much more.
*Loverboy/Juanito el cariñoso by Lee Merrill Byrd and Francisco Delgado (Cinco Puntos). A vivid, bilingual children’s book that uses a story to focus on the numbers 1 to 10.
*The Art of Country Grain Elevators by Jon Volkmer and Bruce Selyem (Bottom Dog). Photos of picturesque grain elevators and poems inspired by them about personal and cultural experiences in the Midwest.
*Justice on the Job edited by Block, Friedman, Kaminski, and Levin (Upjohn). Papers from a conference on the erosion of collective bargaining in the U.S.
*Labour Left Out by Roy J. Adams (CCPA). Many in the U.S. speak of Canada as a model but this Canadian professor reports that workers’ rights are declining there as well.
*Death in the Haymarket by James Green (Pantheon). A readable account of some of the first labor battles in the U.S. as seven Chicago activists were executed in 1886 during the fight for the eight-hour day. A good window into the development of industrial America after the Civil War.
*California Country
by I See Hawks in L.A. The third entertaining CD by this innovative band includes such songs as “Raised by Hippies,” “Byrd from West Virginia,” “Midnight in Orlando,” and “Hard Times are Here Again.”
*Skunkmello by Guy Davis (Red House). Traditional blues with 11 original songs that have the authenticity that first gave the genre its appeal.
*Feels Good by Take 6. The latest from a unique a cappella gospel group that draws on intricate jazz harmonies. This CD has some good songs, but if you’re not already a fan the place to start is their first recording with the same name as the group: “Take 6.”
*Our Future in Retrospect: Coal Miner Health in Appalachia
is an online photography-and-text exhibit featuring photos taken in 1946 by Russell Lee and in 2006 by Earl Dotter. See http://www3.cet.edu/appalachianinstitute/main.html
Free tools for effective grassroots organizing and communication, as well as back issues of World Wide Work, are available at www.TheWorkSite.org

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