The Chicago Teachers Union strike was the most important domestic labor struggle so far this century—and perhaps for the last forty years—and the strongest challenge to the conservative agenda for restructuring education, which advocates for more charter schools and tying teacher salaries to standardized testing, among other changes.The teachers took on the bipartisan, free market school reform agenda that is currently exacerbating inequality in education and waging war on teachers' livelihoods. In the age of austerity, when the public sector is under attack, Chicago teachers fought back—and won.
With a rave review by CTU striker Marilena Marchetti published today in the Socialist Worker, Micah Uetricht's book Strike for America continues to garner diverse and enthusiastic press coverage for its portrayal of the Chicago Teacher's Union strike in 2012.
Marchetti's piece combines a thoughtful analysis of the book with an inspiring account of her own experience on the picket line, and confirms Uetricht's description of the support that the striking CTU received from the greater-Chicago community.
From large general-interest publications such as Salon, to literary outlets like Lit/Rant, to radical publications like the International Socialist Network, which insisted that "every trade unionist and socialist worth their salt should read this book," the Internet has been abuzz about Strike for America.
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.