Strike! - Jeremy Brecher

Strike! - Jeremy Brecher

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Special, expanded 50th anniversary edition of Jeremy Brecher's seminal book, Strike!, which narrates the dramatic story of repeated, massive, and sometimes violent revolts by ordinary working people in the US. Involving nationwide general strikes, the seizure of vast industrial establishments, nonviolent direct action on a massive scale, and armed battles with artillery and tanks, this exciting hidden history is told from the point of view of the rank-and-file workers who lived it. Encompassing the repeated repression of workers’ rebellions by company-sponsored violence, local police, state militias, and the US Army and National Guard, it reveals a dimension of US history rarely found in the usual high school or college history course.

Since its original publication in 1972, no book has done as much as Strike! to bring US labor history to a wide audience. As well as all the previous content, such as the stories of the 1877 Great Upheaval, the 1886 May Day strike and Haymarket affair, and the strike wave during the Vietnam war, this fiftieth anniversary edition brings the story up to date with chapters covering the “mini-revolts of the twenty-first century,” including Occupy Wall Street and the Fight for Fifteen. The new edition contains over a hundred pages of new materials and concludes by examining a wide range of current struggles, ranging from #BlackLivesMatter, to the great wave of teachers' strikes “for the soul of public education,” to the global “Student Strike for Climate” that may be harbingers of mass strikes to come.


“Jeremy Brecher’s Strike! is a classic of American historical writing. This new edition, bringing his account up to the present, comes amid rampant inequality and growing popular resistance. No book could be more timely for those seeking the roots of our current condition.”
—Eric Foner, Pulitzer Prize winner and DeWitt Clinton Professor of History at Columbia University

“Magnificent—a vivid, muscular labor history, just updated and rereleased by PM Press, which should be at the side of anyone who wants to understand the deep structure of force and counterforce in America.”
—JoAnn Wypijewski, author of Killing Trayvons: An Anthology of American Violence

“An exciting history of American labor. Brings to life the flashpoints of labor history. Scholarly, genuinely stirring.”
—New York Times

“Splendid . . . clearly the best single-volume summary yet published of American general strikes.”
—Washington Post

“A magnificent book. I hope it will take its place as the standard history of American labor.”
—Staughton Lynd, author of Solidarity Unionism and coauthor of Labor Law for the Rank and Filer

About the Contributors:

Jeremy Brecher has participated in movements for nuclear disarmament, civil rights, peace, international labor rights, global economic justice, accountability for war crimes, climate protection, and many others. He is the author of fifteen books on labor and social movements, including the national best seller Strike!. He has received five regional Emmy awards for his documentary film work. He is currently policy and research director for the Labor Network for Sustainability.

Sara Nelson is international president of the Association of Flight Attendants–CWA, AFL-CIO. During the 2019 government shutdown, her call for a general strike helped showcase the power aviation employees can wield by withholding service and helped lead to the reopening of the government.

Kim Kelly is the labor columnist for Teen Vogue. Her writings on labor, politics, and culture have appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Guardian, Pacific Standard, and many others. She is a proud member of the Writers Guild of America, East, and has been active in multiple organizing and contract campaigns since 2015.

 Jeremy Brecher • Preface: Sara Nelson • Foreword: Kim Kelly
Publisher: PM Press
ISBN: 9781629638003/9781629638560
Published: 6/2020
Format: Paperback/Hardcover
Size: 6 x 9
Page count: 640