Only One Thing Can Save Us: Why America Needs a New Kind of Labor Movement

Overview


Is labor’s day over or is labor the only real answer for our time? In this new book, National Book Critics Circle Award finalist and 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...

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Overview


Is labor’s day over or is labor the only real answer for our time? In this new book, National Book Critics Circle Award finalist and 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. He tells us stories, sometimes humorous but more often chilling, about problems working people like his own clients—cabdrivers, cashiers, even Chicago public school teachers—now face in our largely union-free economy. He then explains why a new kind of labor movement (and not just more higher education) will be crucial for saving what is left of the middle class; pushing Keynes’s original, sometimes forgotten ideas for getting the rich to invest and reduce our balance of trade; and promoting John Dewey’s "democratic way of life"—one that would start in the schools and continue in our places of work.

A "public policy" book that is compulsively readable, Only One Thing Can Save Us is vintage Geoghegan, blending acerbic and witty commentary with unparalleled insight into the real dynamics (and human experience) of working in America today.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Praise for Thomas Geoghegan's previous books:

"Which Side Are You On? is one of the finest nonfiction books by a contemporary author I’ve ever read. It’s incredibly informative, frequently moving, loaded with fresh insights, and often laugh-out-loud funny. A delightful book about the labor movement: it sounds like an oxymoron, but in Geoghegan’s case it’s an accomplishment."
—Hendrik Hertzberg, NewYorker.com

"Most diverting…[Geoghegan] has the great virtue of being witty and ironic—and to the point…A necessary primer."
—Jurek Martin, Financial Times

"Clever and immensely appealing."
—Katha Pollitt, The Nation

"Quirky, brilliant…Inspiring…unparalleled in the literature of American labor."
The New York Times

"A brilliant book."
The Washington Post

"Delightful reading."
—Barbara Ehrenreich

"So skillfully written, so witty—and so scathing—that it seems bound to grip even those who find the labor movement boring."
Businessweek

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781595588364
  • Publisher: New Press, The
  • Publication date: 12/2/2014
  • Pages: 272

Meet the Author


Thomas Geoghegan is a practicing labor lawyer and the author of several books, including See You in Court; In America’s Court; the National Book Critics Circle Award finalist Which Side Are You On?; and, most recently, Were You Born on the Wrong Continent? (all available from The New Press). He has written for The Nation, the New York Times, and Harper’s Magazine. He lives in Chicago.
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