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LAWCHA is an organization of scholars, teachers, students, labor educators, and activists who seek to promote public and scholarly awareness of labor and working-class history through research, writing, and organizing.

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  • LAWCHA Pandemic Book Talk :Robert Chase, We Are Not Slaves: State Violence, Coerced Labor, and Prisoners Rights in Postwar America

    November 19, 2020
    via Zoom

    LAWCHA’s Pandemic Book Talks feature talks by LAWCHA members whose books launched in the midst of (or just before) the pandemic. Book talks will feature a presentation and discussion. Join us November 19 for Robert Chase, We Are Not Slaves: State Violence, Coerced Labor, and Prisoners Rights in Postwar America (University of North Carolina Press, 2020). At 7pm on November 19 Robert Chase, Associate Professor of History at Stony Brook University, will give a 30-minute talk on Zoom about his new book, We Are Not Slaves: State Violence, Coerced Labor, and Prisoners’ Rights in Postwar America, followed by Q&A. Drawing from three decades of legal documents compiled by prisoners, Chase narrates the struggle to change prison from within. Told from the vantage point of the prisoners themselves, “We Are Not Slaves,” weaves together untold but devastatingly important truths from the histories of labor, civil rights, and politics in the United States as it narrates the transition from prison plantations of the past to the mass incarceration of today. Please register in advance and join us via zoom (link).  

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  • LAWCHA Pandemic Book Talk :Jarod Roll, Poor Man’s Fortune: White Working-Class Conservatism in American Metal Mining, 1850–1950

    December 17, 2020
    via Zoom

    LAWCHA’s Pandemic Book Talks feature talks by LAWCHA members whose books launched in the midst of (or just before) the pandemic. Book talks feature a presentation and a discussion. Join us November 19 for Robert Chase, Poor Man’s Fortune: White Working-Class Conservatism in American Metal Mining, 1850–1950 (University of North Carolina Press, 2020). With painstaking research, Roll shows how the miners’ choices reflected a deep-seated, durable belief that hard-working American white men could prosper under capitalism, and exposes the grim costs of this view for these men and their communities, for organized labor, and for political movements seeking a more just and secure society. Roll’s story shows how American inequalities are in part the result of a white working-class conservative tradition driven by grassroots assertions of racial, gendered, and national privilege. Please join us at 7pm (EST) on Thursday, December 17, 2020. Please register here in advance and join us via Zoom. (link)

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  • LAWCHA Pandemic Book Talk :Alexandra Finley, An Intimate Economy: Enslaved Women, Work, and America’s Domestic Slave Trade

    January 21, 2021
    via Zoom

    LAWCHA’s Pandemic Book Talks feature talks by LAWCHA members whose books launched in the midst of (or just before) the pandemic. Book talks feature a presentation and a discussion. Join us on January 21, 2021 for Alexandra Finley, An Intimate Economy: Enslaved Women, Work, and America’s Domestic Slave Trade. Join us at 7pm (EST) on Thursday, January 21, 2021. Please register here in advance and join us via Zoom. 

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LaborOnline features commentary on a host of issues, contemporary and historical, as well as “instant” dialogue and debate among readers and authors about the contents of the journal. Looking for the journal? Visit Labor at Duke University Press. Contact Rosemary Feurer ([email protected]) to propose ideas or stories. Like us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter, @LAWCHA_ORG! Subscribe to the LAWCHA RSS Feed!

Middle Class Nightmares: The presidential elections and the “middle class”

This is an English translation of a review first published https://commonware.org/recensioni/vite-di-commessi-elettori-le-elezioni-americane-e-la-middle-class ) Sarah Jones reviews The Sinking Middle Class by David Roediger “Once in my life I would like to own something outright before it was broken,” says Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman. It is a phrase that for David Roediger, author of The Sinking Middle Class (OR Books, 2020), sums up the middle class condition of constantly buying on credit. We could go further and say that it describes the middle class condition in general: that position is never owned ‘outright’, it is always possessed precariously and partially, and even then, is always already broken. Read more →

November 23rd, 2020