Real World Labor

Edited by Ben Beckett, Kari Lydersen, Robert Ovetz, Kevin Van Meter, and the Dollars & Sense Collective

Real World Labor cover
Date of publication:
March 2024

The third edition of Real World Labor provides up-to-date, accessible, and penetrating analysis of the most significant issues confronting workers and unions today, both nationally and globally.

With contributions from leading writers and scholars of the labor movement, this essential anthology introduces students to the fundamentals of the capital-labor relation, labor law and policy, changes in conditions of labor; the role of unions; labor market segmentation and discrimination; labor and the environment, the effects of globalization, labor and immigration, and new forms of worker resistance and alternative organization.

Contributors include: David Bacon, Dean Baker, Jeremy Brecher, Nancy Folbre, Immanuel Ness, Frances Fox Piven, Katherine Sciacchitano, Juliet Schor, Jeannette Wicks-Lim, and others. Articles are drawn from the pages of Dollars & Sense and WorkingUSA.

Praise for the first edition of Real World Labor:

“For any labor studies course, Real World Labor is the most comprehensive and accessible book available today. Written by authoritative scholars of the labor movement in the United States and worldwide, no book compares to this work in its breadth of coverage and scope of analysis. This is the only collection that provides an in–depth overview of labor issues in an accessible manner to anyone interested in understanding the most significant issues facing workers and the contemporary labor movement. I highly recommend this book to all!”
THOMAS J. KRIGER, Provost, National Labor College

Real World Labor, like decades of Dollars & Sense books, is bound to be a great guide to labor issues with a wide range of perspectives for both union members and students.”
LARRY COHEN, President, Communications Workers of America

Real World Labor is an antidote to the misinformation, false arguments, and faulty analysis so common in the mainstream media and among orthodox economists. An excellent classroom resource.”
MICHAEL YATES, author of Why Unions Matter and Associate Editor, Monthly Review

“Only a Dollars & Sense reader could fit between its covers organizing against Starbucks, wage theft, the political economy of unemployment, globalization, sexual harassment, democratic alternatives to capitalism, the music of the Dropkick Murphys, and much much more—and have it all make sense. Real World Labor is an ideal text both for newcomers to labor studies and to old hands. In one volume, it provides students with invaluable historical background, up-to-the-minute analysis of current labor politics, and many compelling stories about both workers being exploited and workers fighting back. Equally important, it provides an analytical framework for understanding the assault on labor over the past generation and how this has impacted the American economy as a whole. Combining excellent journalism and excellent analysis, Real World Labor provides both a compelling critique of the American political economy and cutting-edge commentary on the direction labor and economic justice movements must take in the years ahead.”
THAD WILLIAMSON, Jepson School of Leadership Studies, University of Richmond