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Books & Authors, Diverse Voices

Working-Class Voices

Working is perhaps the most fundamental aspect of our lives. Working is also perhaps the most divisive and controversial aspect of our lives. We humans have a hierarchy of needs, the most basic of which - food, shelter, clothing - we spend our entire lives worrying over as we find, attain, and maintain a J-O-B. Built into the very nature of this pursuit we find that which divides and sets us at odds with our neighbor. Dive into working-class voices and thought-provoking narratives about what it means to be an American worker.

Cannery Row by John Steinbeck
Steinbeck centennial edition. Vividly depicts the colorful, sometimes disreputable, inhabitants of a run-down area in Monterey, California.

Mothers, Tell Your Daughters : Stories by Bonnie Jo Campbell
|tSleepover --|tPlayhouse --|tTell yourself --|tThe greatest show on earth, 1982: what there was --|tMy dog Roscoe --|tMothers, tell your daughters --|tMy sister is in pain --|tA multitude of sins --|tTo you, as a woman --|tDaughters of the animal kingdom --|tSomewhere warm --|tMy bliss --|tBlood work, 1999 --|tChildren of Transylvania, 1983 --|tNatural disasters --|tThe fruit of the pawpaw tree.

Only One Thing Can Save Us : Why America Needs a New Kind of Labor Movement by Thomas Geoghegan
Is labor's day over or is labor the only real answer for our time? In this new book ... labor lawyer Thomas Geoghegan argues that even as organized labor seems to be crumbling, a revived--but different--labor movement is now more relevant than ever in our increasingly unequal society. The inequality reshaping the country goes beyond money and income: the workplace is more authoritarian than ever, and we have even less of a say over our conditions at work--|cProvided by publisher. Includes index.

Player Piano by Kurt Vonnegut
Vonnegut's first novel spins the chilling tale of engineer Paul Proteus, who must find a way to live in a world dominated by a super computer and run completely by machines. His rebellion is a wildly funny, darkly satirical look at modern society.

Rivethead : Tales From the Assembly Line by Ben Hamper
An irreverent, at times wickedly funny, look into the American workplace.

The Jungle by Upton Sinclair
Includes bibliographical references (pages xxxiii-xxxv). Upton Sinclair's dramatic and deeply moving story exposed the brutal conditions in the Chicago stockyards at the turn of the nineteenth century and brought into sharp moral focus the appalling odds against which immigrants and other working people struggled for their share of the American dream.

The Last Ballad by Wiley Cash
Ella May Wiggins, a young mother desperately trying to hold her family together with the paltry nine dollars a week she earns from the textile mill two miles away, makes up her mind to join the labor union--a decision that will have lasting consequences for her children, her friends, her town, and all that she loves. Intertwining myriad voice, Cash brings to life the heartbreak and bravery of the now forgotten struggle of the labor movement in early twentieth-century America--and pays tribute to the thousands of heroic women and men who risked their lives to win basic rights for all workers -- Adapted from publisher information.

True North : A Novel by Jim Harrison
The scion of a family of wealthy timber barons, David Burkett has grown up with a father who is a malevolent force and a mother made vague and numb by alcohol and pills. He and his sister Cynthia, a firecracker who scandalizes the family at fourteen by taking up with the son of their Finnish-Native American gardener, are mostly left to make their own way. As David comes to adulthood-often guided and enlightened by the unforgettable, intractable, courageous women he loves-he realizes he must come to terms with his forefathers' rapacious destruction of the woods of Michigan's Upper Peninsula, as well as the working people who made their wealth possible.


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