“Labor and the Class Idea” Comes Home

My book came out in the spring of 2018. I was on parental leave at the time, so it was hard to arrange as many talks and events as I would have liked. Then I came back to McGill for the Fall 2019 semester, and had a somewhat delayed book launch set for March 2020….

A Bit of Recognition

Yesterday I learned that my book, Labor and the Class Idea in the United States and Canada, has been awarded an Honorable Mention for the 2020 Seymour Martin Lipset Best Book Award competition of the American Political Science Association’s Canadian Politics Section.  It is both ironic and fitting that my book should win an award named after…

The Class Idea on The Vast Majority

Like many things in the world, this blog has been lost in the vortex of the coronavirus. I just logged back into my account to see that my last post was from the uncertain days at the start of the lockdown, before we really had a sense of how long this would last. Although I…

Where Do Unions Fit Into Socialist Strategy?

The core problem for Marxists is that unions occupy a paradoxical place in socialist strategy. On the one hand, they are essential for creating the collective working-class actor that is necessary to bring about socialism. On the other hand, by their very form they presuppose the continued existence of capitalism, given their primary focus on negotiating wages, benefits, and working conditions with capitalists.

Of Hoffa and Hollywood

I recently published a piece in Jacobin offering a sober assessment of labor leader Jimmy Hoffa’s legacy. He was a household name in his prime when he was heading up the Teamsters Union, and even today remains one of the best-known labor leaders in the U.S. He’s been on people’s minds more recently thanks to Martin Scorsese’s film The Irishman.

Labor and the Class Idea Reviewed in The Progressive

I was happy to see Shaun Richman’s generous review of my book in The Progressive. A longtime labor activist, writer, and now Program Director of the Harry Van Arsdale Jr. Center for Labor Studies at SUNY Empire State College, Richman brought to the review his many years of experience grappling directly with the kinds of challenges that I address in the book.

Live on Beneath the Surface with Suzi Weissman

On March 29, 2019, Suzi Weissman and I sat down for an in-depth interview around the theme of “Labor, Socialism, and the Struggle for Power,” at a meeting sponsored by the Los Angeles chapter of Democratic Socialists of America. The interview was taped for Suzi’s long-running “Beneath the Surface” show on KPFK 90.7 FM Pacifica Radio in Los Angeles.

What the LA teachers’ strike tells us about labor’s future

On January 25, the Washington Post published a piece of mine on the recently-concluded Los Angeles teachers’ strike. While it was certainly a decisive victory for the members of United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA), the LA teachers’ union, it also has broader implications for the US labor movement more broadly—particularly in light of last year’s Supreme Court…

Talking with Heartland Labor Forum about the Class Idea

On December 27, 2018, I had the chance to sit down with Jacob White of Heartland Labor Forum to talk about my book. HLF is a weekly radio show on KKFI 90.1 FM in Kansas City, Missouri that was founded by the Worker Education and Labor Studies Program at the University of Missouri–Kansas City. While…

An introduction to comparative-historical sociology

I recently received one of those e-mails that we as professors dream of receiving: an e-mail from a student asking for reading recommendations to get better acquainted with my chosen field of study. In my case, this involved introducing my student to the world of comparative-historical sociology.

Taking Stock of the Labor Movement for Labor Day

To mark the Labor Day holiday, I wrote a piece for the Washington Post taking stock of the current state of the US labor movement, and thinking of what its past can tell us about the road ahead. While unions have taken a beating over the past several decades, this Labor Day is somewhat different in…

Awards Season

I was both honored and humbled to learn recently that I am the 2018 recipient of the Canadian Sociological Association’s Early Investigator Award. I’ll have to wait until 2019 to pick up the actual hardware, since this year’s CSA meeting is pre-empted by the International Sociological Association Meeting in Toronto, but I’ll take the official…