Red State Revolt

Red State Revolt:The Teachers’ Strike Wave and Working-Class Politics

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One of the most comprehensive portraits of a strike wave ever written, an indispensable window into the changing shape of the working class and American politics

Thirteen months after Trump allegedly captured the allegiance of “the white working class,” a strike wave—the first in over four decades—rocked the United States. Inspired by the wildcat victory in West Virginia, teachers in Oklahoma, Arizona, and across the country walked off their jobs and shut down their schools to demand better pay for educators, more funding for students, and an end to years of austerity.

Confounding all expectations, these working-class rebellions erupted in regions with Republican electorates, weak unions, and bans on public sector strikes. By mobilizing to take their destinies into their own hands, red state school workers posed a clear alternative to politics-as-usual. And with similar actions now gaining steam in Los Angeles, Oakland, Denver, and Virginia, there is no sign that this upsurge will be short-lived.

Red State Revolt is a compelling analysis of the emergence and development of this historic strike wave, with an eye to extracting its main strategic lessons for educators, labor organizers, and radicals across the country. A former high school teacher and longtime activist, Eric Blanc embedded himself into the rank-and-file leaderships of the walkouts, where he was given access to internal organizing meetings and secret Facebook groups inaccessible to most journalists. The result is one of the richest portraits of the labor movement to date, a story populated with the voices of school workers who are winning the fight for the soul of public education—and redrawing the political map of the country at large.


  • Comprehensive and excellent

    Diane Ravitch, a historian of education, an education policy analyst, and a research professor at New York University. She is the author of Reign of Error
  • If you've not been reading Eric Blanc's reporting on the teacher strikes, you've been missing out. Far and away the smartest writing out there on the topic.

    Corey Robin, author of the Reactionary Mind
  • has anyone in American labor history ever covered a strike wave so closely? Has a labor writer ever been on the scene of so many different upsurges in so many geographically far-flight places in such a short amount of time? Has anyone ever covered these conflicts in a way that both captures the incredible sense of possibility that these strikes have put on the table while also remaining sober about what the strikers have achieved and failed to achieve, with both a bird's-eye view as an observer and a commitment to hearing from workers in their own words? Eric's work on these strikes has been superb.

    Micah Uetricht, author of Strike for America