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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...

  • Sir! No Sir! -- a new documentary film by David Zeiger.  Many people today think of the "anti-war movement" during Vietnam as something that happened only on college campuses. This film tells the timely story of the courageous opposition to the war that grew within the ranks of the military itself. (World premiere in L.A., Sunday, June 19, 7 pm, Directors Guild Theater, 7920 Sunset Blvd. Tickets at www.lafilmfest.com. Second screening Thursday, June 23, 5 pm.).
  • Class Matters: Cross-Class Alliance Building for Middle-Class Activists by Betsy Leondar-Wright (New Society). This guide to how organizations and individuals can take class into account in building effective and united movements should be required reading before middle-class activists make unnecessary mistakes and miss opportunities.  Built mainly on a series of short first-person anecdotes from dozens of activists that illustrate basic issues and principles, the book is packed with practical and honest discussion and light on rhetoric.
  • Putting the Movement Back into Civil Rights Teaching by Poverty & Race Research Action Council and Teaching for Change (order via teachingforchange.org). This admirable 576-page resource guide for teachers and community groups provides practical tools for teaching more about the civil rights movement than that Martin Luther King was a great speaker or that Rosa Parks sat down in a bus. It provides lesson plans, tips from teachers, readings, and other materials, and connects the African-American movement to the struggles of other groups. It was prepared by experienced educators and is already in use in many schools. The book makes illuminating reading even for those who are not teachers but are interested in the history of the movement for progressive social change.
  • Music of the Mill by Luis J. Rodriguez (Rayo). This book might cause heartburn for literary experts because of it is a quirky mixture of novel, nonfiction, autobiography, and the author's musings about spirituality, the good life, and many other topics. But because it draws so heavily from his own experiences as an L.A. steelworker and cultural and community activist, it is informative and authentic - like spending a few hours talking to a thoughtful person and storyteller who has seen and done a lot in his day. (See the author's bio at http://www.luisjrodriguez.com/history/history.html. Much of what's in the bio is in the book in one form or another.)  Rare in its depiction of industrial work and union politics among Latino, African American, and white workers.
  • On the Border by Michel Warshawski (South End). A Jewish activist in Israel who has fought for peace and justice for both Jews and Palestinians argues that Israelis must find a way to live as part of the Middle East and not in what he calls their own new ghetto.
  • California Uncovered edited by Divakaruni, Justice, and Quay (Heyday). A diverse, high quality collection of short stories, excerpts from novels, poems, and interviews. It is  sponsored by the California Council for the Humanities, which intends the book to be a tool in a state-wide campaign of exhibits, events, and school projects.  The excerpts from novels in particular provide a good sampler for further reading.
  • The Other Side of the Postcard edited by devorah major (City Lights). When the editor was named San Francisco's poet laureate, she used her new position to stimulate and collect poems by school children, homeless people, workers, and other voices that need to be heard.
  • Labor, Loyalty, and Rebellion by Carl R. Weinberg (Southern Illinois University). Explores the complicated world of Illinois coal miners who went on strike during World War I, defying their government and their union leaders, but then were stirred to such patriotic feelings that they lynched a German-American miner accused of disloyal statements about the U.S.


  • Directo al Corazon by Los Tigres del Norte (Fonovisa). Songs that draw on poignant experiences of immigrants along the U.S.-Mexico border.
  • Exploration by Sarah Lee Guthrie and Johnny Irion (New West). Arlo Guthrie's daughter and her husband are continuing the family musical tradition with this debut collaboration. A few tracks, notably "Swing of Things," give a glimpse of what they'll be able to achieve as their songwriting matures.


  • www.TheWorkSite.org has, among many other features, practical tips on how to conduct better meetings, organize rallies that inspire, work effectively with committees, and much more. See the "Organizing Nuts and Bolts" folder in the site's Tools section.
  • www.LaborArts.org is a web museum of labor art and artifacts.

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