• The cover of the book The Jungle

    The Jungle

    In The Jungle, journalist Upton Sinclair exposes the harsh working conditions for immigrants in Chicago. It’s a grim read, but it was so powerful that it actually brought about reforms in the meatpacking industry. We love a novel with real-life consequences.

     
  • The cover of the book Beaten Down, Worked Up

    Beaten Down, Worked Up

    Longtime New York Times labor correspondent Steven Greenhouse takes the longview on the decline of worker power in the U.S., and shines a light on modern movements like #RedforEd and the Fight for $15, portraits of American workers at companies like GM and Uber, and histories of labor unions that empowered marginalized workers in big ways. Most encouragingly, he offers concrete solutions for reimagining worker power today.

     
  • The cover of the book Temp

    Temp

    In Temp, Louis Hyman lifts the veil on the gig economy, making clear that it wasn’t ushered in by new apps like Uber but a series of deliberate choices made by consultants and CEOs as far back as the 1950s. Those post-war companies traded in long-term job stability for short-term profits—which could explain why you, like countless millennials, are scrambling for whatever gigs you can drum up to make ends meet. Hyman argues for a more inclusive future, but first we have to understand how we got here.

     
  • The cover of the book Cannery Row

    Cannery Row

    If your copy of The Grapes of Wrath is looking a little dog-eared, try Cannery Row instead. Set during the Great Depression, it’s made up of a series of vignettes of life in the cannery district. The avenue in Monterey, California, that inspired Steinbeck has since been renamed Cannery Row in tribute.

     
  • The cover of the book Give People Money

    Give People Money

    Universal basic income is a stipend given to every citizen to use as they will, and in this deeply reported book, Annie Lowrey of The Atlantic makes an unignorable case for how implementing such a policy would “end poverty, revolutionize work, and remake the world.” A global exploration backed up by expert accounts and personal stories of workers, Give People Money is one you don’t want to miss.

     
  • The cover of the book The Ambition Decisions

    The Ambition Decisions

    As journalists Hana Schank and Elizabeth Wallace were asked to make increasingly fraught decisions about work and family, they started to wonder how the women they’d graduated with were faring with the same questions. The Ambition Decisions is the culmination of interviews and data that contribute to the much-needed conversation about women’s ambition and the obstacles they face, complete with practical guideposts for forging ahead.

     
  • The cover of the book Bread and Roses

    Bread and Roses

    Milton Meltzer’s nonfiction, with its title taken from one of the union songs, is a great introduction to the history of the Labor Union. The book documents workers’ struggle in the wake of the Industrial Revolution, as they were forced unhappily from their specialties into mindless assembly lines.

     
  • The cover of the book The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work

    The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work

    Alain de Botton applies his trademark philosophical musings to the joys and pains of our working lives, exploring a range of occupations and what makes them either satisfying or soul-crushing. The San Francisco Chronicle called it “an intellectual acid trip without the stimulants,” which sounds like a perfect Labor Day weekend read.

     
  • The cover of the book "All Labor Has Dignity"

    "All Labor Has Dignity"

    This must-have collection gathers Dr. King’s speeches on labor rights and economic justice. From his addresses to labor unions in the 1960s to his historic “Mountaintop” speech, which was made in support of Black sanitation workers in Memphis, the words gathered here remain a striking call to action.

     
  • The cover of the book Sometimes a Great Notion

    Sometimes a Great Notion

    From the author of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest comes another modern classic, this time set in a small lumber town in Oregon in the midst of a bitter strike that turns the town on its head. The epic story that follows is the stuff of Greek legends, rooted in characters whose plight feels all too real.