The 1st of May marks International Workers' Day, a festival of working-class self-organization stretching back over 130 years. It was originally inaugurated to commemorate the Haymarket Massacre of 1886 in Chicago, where a bomb thrown during a worker's strike kicked off a period of anti-labor hysteria.
In 1890, the first internationally coordinated demonstration for an 8-hour day was held, in commemoration of those killed in the massacre. Eight anarchists were executed on trumped-up charges after the event.
Here, Verso staff present an updated reading list for May Day. Since first posting the list a few years back, we've added some of our recent titles that trace the changing nature of work and the labor movements in the U.S. and around the world.
All books listed are available for direct purchase from our site at discounts of 40% off paperbacks, 30% off hardcovers, and 50% off ebooks, with free shipping, and ebooks bundled with your print purchase where available.
The words Black Swan and internship have continued to gather nation-wide conversational momentum ever since last month's landmark ruling, and the debate shows no signs of abating. In a recent op-ed for the New York Times, Ross Perlin—author of Intern Nation and an expert on the new internship economy—examines the ways in which people have been organizing beyond the courtroom. All of these strategies point to the same thing: a demand for respectable working environments that benefit both the employer and the employee, standing up to a culture in which the internship has become largely synonymous with "menial work, immaturity, parental dependence and being stuck".
Read Ross Perlin's op-ed in full here.
In honor of this week's landmark court victory, in which a judge ruled that former interns who worked on the set of Black Swan should have been paid by Fox Searchlight for their labor, we're giving free copies of Ross Perlin's groundbreaking book, Intern Nation, to groups organizing against unpaid internships.
Shirts from the OWS Arts & Labor Intern Rights group