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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...

*Wal-Mart: The Face of 21st Century Capitalism
edited by Nelson Lichtenstein (New Press). An impressive collection of essays about how Wal-Mart actually works and what impact it has on many aspects of society in the U.S. and abroad. Provides far more understanding of the most important company in the world than can be found in the everyday news media.
*Breaking Rank by Norm Stamper (Nation Books). One of the more unusual books to come out in years. Stamper was police chief for Seattle from 1994 to 2000, capping a 34-year career as a police officer. In rich detail he draws on his experiences to argue for radically new approaches on such issues as drugs, prostitution, gun control, capital punishment, community oversight, and more. Although a strong supporter of unions, Stamper devotes a whole chapter to a blunt argument that police unions too often have defended an indefensible status quo.
*The History of Science Revisited by Clifford D. Conner (Nation Books). The great-man theory of history takes another blow in this innovative and fascinating look at how much scientific and technological knowledge has been advanced throughout history by unsung working people =96 even by slaves -- and not just the lone individual geniuses portrayed in most textbooks.
*Women on the Edge edited by Samantha Dunn and Julianne Ortale (Toby Press). New short stories by women in L.A. that delve into a range of life's experiences.
*Paul Wellstone by Bill Lofy (University of Michigan). Though Lofy was a Wellstone colleague, he is not afraid to be critical and analytical about strategic choices the activist and senator made during his career.
*Hope in the Dark by Rebecca Solnit (Nation Books). Thoughts on how and why to sustain hope in these difficult times.
*Hands: Physical Labor, Class, and Cultural Work by Janet Zandy (Rutgers University). At a time when so much of "culture" is disconnecte= d from the experiences of most people at work each day, Zandy continues in her writings to examine literature and art that are by or about working people. Best suited for those comfortable with academic language.
*Taking Back the Corporation by Ralph Estes (Nation Books). A basic introduction to the need for increased corporate accountability.
*Reclaiming the Ivory Tower by Joe Berry (Monthly Review Press). One activist's take on issues related to organizing adjunct faculty in universities.
*Chavez Ravine
by Ry Cooder (Nonesuch). One of the most interesting musical projects in years. Cooder spent years learning about the Mexican-American community of Chavez Ravine in Los Angeles where homes were bulldozed and Dodger Stadium built in the 1950s. With other musicians he put together a collection of songs that tell the human story, but as art, not polemic.
*At the Wood's Heart by June Tabor (Topic). Amid this sweet, slow collection of mostly old English folk music, a recent song is worth the price of admission =96 the Cloud Factory by Bill Caddick, a story about a power plant worker and what he taught his family. (See first two stanzas below.)
*Bowery Songs by Joan Baez (Koch). A live album that features songs by Bob Dylan, Steve Earle, Greg Brown, Woody Guthrie, and Natalie Merchant.

*North Country.
A surprisingly entertaining and well-acted Hollywood story of an actual struggle by women miners in Minnesota during the 1970s and 1980s that advanced sexual harassment law in the U.S. Good for provoking discussion about what has and has not changed for women since then.
*TrueSpin Conference.
A lively national conference on media work for progressives is being held in Denver Feb. 2-3. Our readers can get a $100 discount by writing "World Wide Work" on the mail-in registration form o= n the www.truespinconference.com web site, where more information can be found about workshops and speakers.
The first two stanzas from "The Cloud Factory" on the CD "At the Wood's Heart":
My father worked in the cloud factory
He'd come home wreathed in dreams each day
My mother took his cloudy clothes
To wash the smell of dreams away
She'd scold and say you and your dreams
Are just for kids and fools like you
Father he'd just wink his eye
Smile and say are you sure that's true=85
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