There Is Power in A Union

There Is Power in A Union

The Epic Story of Labor in America

Book - 2010
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Random House, Inc.
From an award-winning historian, a stirring (and timely) narrative history of American labor from the dawn of the industrial age to the present day.

From the textile mills of Lowell, Massachusetts, the first real factories in America, to the triumph of unions in the twentieth century and their waning influence today, the con­test between labor and capital for their share of American bounty has shaped our national experience. Philip Dray’s ambition is to show us the vital accomplishments of organized labor in that time and illuminate its central role in our social, political, economic, and cultural evolution. There Is Power in a Union is an epic, character-driven narrative that locates this struggle for security and dignity in all its various settings: on picket lines and in union halls, jails, assembly lines, corporate boardrooms, the courts, the halls of Congress, and the White House. The author demonstrates, viscerally and dramatically, the urgency of the fight for fairness and economic democracy—a struggle that remains especially urgent today, when ordinary Americans are so anxious and beset by eco­nomic woes.

Baker & Taylor
Presents a narrative chronicle of American organized labor from the origins of the industrial age to the present, documenting the rise and fall of unions and the ongoing fight for workplace equality.

Blackwell Publishing
"The unending struggle between unions and big business has never been more vividly told. Philip Dray is a marvelous storyteller who brings history memorably alive, and you will not soon forget the tales of murder and greed, commitment and sacrifice that fill these pages. But this is more than history; the compelling saga of labor as a cruible for social change should prompt some honest and hard debate about what's happening to workingmen and -women today."---BILL MOYERS

"The American labor movement has been losing ground for three decades, but its history is heroic and inspiring---full of scenes of dramatic, often bloody conflict. It would be hard to imagine a better account of those episodes of collective effort, personal courage, and fierce resistance than this engrossing narrative."---MORRIS DICKSTEIN, author of Dancing in the Dark: A Cultural History of the Great Depression

"From the Lowell Mills of antebellum America to the global assembly lines of our own day, Philip Dray offers a panoramic narrative of the work and struggle, the triumph and tragedy that have been the fate of trade unionism in the United States. His lively and insightful history belongs on the shelf and in the hands of all those who want to organize ourselves out of the social and economic predicament in which the nation now finds itself."---NELSON LICHTENSTEIN, professor of history and director of the Center for the Study of Work, Labor, and Democracy at the University of California, Santa Barbara

"It is wrong to call this a strike," declared a St. Louis newspaper at the height of the great railroad upheaval of 1877. "It is labor revolution!" With soldiers dispatched to confront the workers, labor leader Albert Parsons assured a teeming crowd in Chicago, "A mighty spirit is animating the hearts of the American people today, [and] when I say the American people I mean the backbone of the country." From such boisterous beginnings in the mills and rail yards of nineteenth-century America arose this country's defining struggle-the contest between labor and capital-an inspired, at times bitter and violent fight not simply for better wages and conditions of work but for the soul of a nation.

In There Is Power in a Union, award-winning author Philip Dray traces the ways in which this dynamic history has shaped our national experience. His is an epic, character-driven story that locates the struggle for security and dignity on picket and assembly lines, and in union halls, jails, corporate boardrooms, the courts, the halls of Congress, and the White House. His accounts of key events-the Haymarket Riot, the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire, the Ludlow Massacre, and the disastrous PATCO strike-and portrayals of such almost mythical figures as Eugene Debs, Mother Jones, "Big" Bill Haywood, Joe Hill, John L. Lewis, Walter Reuther, and Jimmy Hoffa, are narrative history at its most compelling.

In restoring to our collective memory the indelible story of the country's greatest social, political, and cultural movement, Dray demonstrates the importance of organized labor's fight for fairness and economic democracy, and why that effort remains so urgent today.

"Philip Dray's big and bold history of organized labor in American splendidly retells a story-or a multitude of stories-badly in need of retelling. The labor movement's decline in recent decades has accompanied a great national amnesia about all that the movement achieved for the nation. That amnesia threatens those achievements, so Dray's book is timely as well as gripping."---SEAN WILENTZ, Sidney and Ruth Lapidus Professor of History at Princeton University and author of Chants Democratic: New York City and the Rise of the American Working Class and Bob Dylan in America

& Taylor

The Pulitzer Prize finalist author of At the Hands of Persons Unknown presents a narrative chronicle of American organized labor from the origins of the industrial age to the present, documenting the rise and fall of unions and the ongoing fight for workplace equality.

Publisher: New York : Doubleday, c2010
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780385526296
Branch Call Number: 331.880973 D797t
Characteristics: xii, 772 p., [32] p. of plates : ill. ; 25 cm


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May 21, 2012

Really good one volume history of the American Labor movement. If you want to learn about movements from below and how people can effect change this is a must read book.

Dec 22, 2010

An extremely engaging and well told history of the labor movement in the United States. Very fair and balanced, not afraid to tell it like it is even when it makes labor look bad. It is too bad that most of what is written about in this book is history that most Americans have never heard about or read about before. The story of labor in America should be in every curriculum in every school.


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