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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
Never mind Jimmy Hoffa and the mob — organized labor has had a bad couple of decades.
It is no political coincidence that the height of Ronald Reagan's Republican "revolution" was also the nadir of organized labor in this century. Reagan's move to fire striking air-traffic controllers rather than negotiate with their union sent a message across the country that labor was impotent. Unionized, industrial America was crumbling and it was being replaced with a nonunionized service economy.
But recently, things have begun to turn around. The Teamsters are finally shaking their image as a corrupt, undemocratic mob front and leading successful strikes. The UAW is flexing its muscles to stop jobs from moving south. And unions across the country are expanding their traditional constituencies to include service and white-collar workers.
Can labor make a difference again? From the Ashes of the Old argues that it can. In fact, Stanley Aronowitz believes that a revivified labor movement is essential to restore public protection from private sector self-interest. By expanding to offer support to the working poor, the low-paid white-collar workers, and the South, Aronowitz believes labor can once again influence the economic and social agenda of the country. And there's no time like the present to get on with it. With the economy so strong and unemployment at record lows, workers have more influence over the conditions of their employment than they have for decades.
It has taken labor a long time to adapt to the changes in politics and the economy. From theAshesof the Old, chronicles those changes and proposes what labor can do to ensure it continues to be a viable and powerful voice for working people.
— Greg Sewell, barnesandnoble.com