LABOR IN ACTION: The Story of the American Labor Movement by Adrian A. Paradis

LABOR IN ACTION: The Story of the American Labor Movement

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This condensed social history begins rather promisingly with a look at indentured labor (and a mention of slavery) in colonial times and the coming of the industrial revolution with Lowell's model textile mills and the increasing exploitation of cheap labor. Later the lack of a clear focus (perhaps the genre, and not Paradis is to blame) becomes more disturbing. Paradis worries about the power of big unions without suggesting what alternative there might be in a society dominated by industrial giants; he assumes that there is a readily identifiable entity known as ""the public interest"" and because of his emphasis on newsworthy highlights there's less information about how grass roots union activity works. Alvin Schwartz (The Unions, KR, 1972) handles the basics of unionism today more smoothly, but despite some superficiality and a strict objectivity that strongly pro-union readers will regard as pussyfooting, this outline is justified by its easy accessibility.

Pub Date: March 1st, 1975
Page count: 192pp
Publisher: Messner