It is a time when unions have returned to the front pages of newspapers and blogs and demonstrators are in the streets of America every day. It is a time when the right wing has tried to strike the final blow against what remains of the right to collective bargaining. It is a time when millions of members of the middle class are falling through the cracks in a downward economic trend that parallels the decline of unions. It is this time when people are turning again to the history of unions. Unions For Beginners provides an introduction to that essential history.
Written and profusely illustrated in the user-friendly, accessible style of the For Beginners series, Unions For Beginners lays down a simple presentation of the colorful epic story of the struggle of working people to rise from lives dominated by toil and underpaid work to becoming full-fledged participants in the American dream they helped to build. Unions For Beginners presents the history of unions and the labor movement, the principles underlying union organizing, the decline of unions in the shadow of the rising corporate state, and the resurgence in the 21st century of union activism.
"As David Cogswell reminds us, America’s economy boomed when union membership was at its height and descended into stagnant wages and underemployment as unions eroded. The author doesn’t entirely dismiss the corruption and lack of fair play that characterized some unions. However, he argues that, in balance, those organizations promoted a social ethic as well as prosperity, buoying the wellbeing of members and non-members alike." -- The Milwaukee Express
"Organized labor surged in the twentieth century, but not everyone understands their purpose in the modern day. Unions for Beginners discusses the role of unions in the American workforce as well as its history. David Cogswell provides a comprehensive introduction of what unions do for the modern worker, telling their history, and their place in today's corporate world that may be leading to their decline. Unions for Beginners is an intriguing modern history lesson, well worth considering for history and social issues collections." -- Midwest Book Review