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It Started in Wisconsin: Dispatches from the Front Lines of the New Labor Protest

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First-hand accounts of the largest pro-labor mass mobilization in modern American history.
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It Started in Wisconsin: Dispatches from the Front Lines of the New Labor Protest

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Overview

First-hand accounts of the largest pro-labor mass mobilization in modern American history.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“[A] collection of stories from those that participated in one of the most inspiring movements to erupt in the US heartland in decades. Those stories provide the observer from afar with a fairly universal and nuanced look at the daily lives of those involved in organizing, occupying, reporting and otherwise participating in those weeks of popular democracy. Interspersed between the tales of the workers, students, farmers and other protesters are a number of photographs and comics. The inclusion of these graphics truly enhances the overall effect ... .worthwhile and provocative.”—Ron Jacobs, Counterpunch

“These essays delve into the historical, political, and ideological underpinnings of the 2011 events. [L]ater chapters are meatier, with events set against the backdrop of early-20th-century Wisconsin progressive politics when Governor Robert ‘Fighting Bob’ LaFollette began the crusade against the dominance of corporate America (at that time, railroads) over government. The book exposes how that same dominance continues today. [W]ill help readers, regardless of their own stance, to understand much of what’s at stake in the country’s current labor and political battles.”—Carol J. Elsen, Library Journal

“Midwest pride of place animates much of the writing, along with awareness of Wisconsin’s progressive history, the global context for the Madison protests and a genuine outrage that transcends the particular grievances of public sector union members. If anything, Walker has reawakened a dormant spirit of solidarity. The harvest of the extremism he sowed may be his own undoing.”—David Luhrssen, Express Milwaukee

“Convey[s] some deeper understanding and offer[s] important lessons valuable for struggles to come ... will stand as a future reference point for those wishing to get some later handle on what happened in the ‘Badger State.’ Importantly, several of the key essays provide a deeper backdrop for an understanding of what happened. The massive show of solidarity with those directly affected by the ‘budget repair bill’ did not come just from police and firefighters exempted from the assault, or from private sector trade union hands. It came from a broader public not directly tied to organized labor. [C]ontains several important perspectives on the state of Wisconsin labor, key for understanding the uprising.”—Allen Ruff, Against the Current

Library Journal
Wisconsin caught the world's attention last February when its governor, Scott Walker, introduced a bill taking aim at collective bargaining rights for state public-sector workers. The resulting massive wave of dissent in the state capitol attracted protestors from around the country and sympathizers around the world. These essays, edited by Mary Jo Buhle (history & American civilization, emerita, Brown Univ.; Women and American Socialism) and Paul Buhle (former senior lecturer, Brown Univ.; coeditor, Encyclopedia of the American Left), now Wisconsin residents, delve into the historical, political, and ideological underpinnings of the 2011 events. The first couple of essays and Michael Moore's afterword amount to cheerleading for the "cause," but later chapters are meatier, with events set against the backdrop of early-20th-century Wisconsin progressive politics when Governor Robert "Fighting Bob" LaFollette began the crusade against the dominance of corporate America (at that time, railroads) over government. The book exposes how that same dominance continues today. VERDICT Despite this book's clear liberal bias, it will help readers, regardless of their own stance, to understand much of what's at stake in the country's current labor and political battles. [The reviewer is a Wisconsin state employee and political independent.—Ed.]—Carol J. Elsen, Univ. of Wisconsin-Whitewater. Lib.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781844678884
  • Publisher: Verso Books
  • Publication date: 1/9/2012
  • Pages: 192
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Paul Buhle, formerly a Senior Lecturer at Brown University, he now lives in Madison, Wisconsin, where he produces radical comics. He founded the SDS journal Radical America and the archive, Oral History of the American Left, and with Mari Jo Buhle, is co-editor of the Encyclopedia of the American Left.

John Nichols is the Washington correspondent for The Nation
magazine, a contributing writer for the Progressive and In These Times, and the associate editor of Madison, Wisconsin’s Capital Times. He’s the author of several books, including The Death and Life of American Journalism,
The Genius of Impeachment and The "S" Word.

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