Hot Best Seller

Fight Like Hell: The Untold History of American Labor

Availability: Ready to download

“Kelly unearths the stories of the people-farm laborers, domestic workers, factory employees—behind some of the labor movement’s biggest successes.” —The New York Times A revelatory and inclusive history of the American labor movement, from independent journalist and Teen Vogue labor columnist Kim Kelly. Freed Black women organizing for protection in the Reconstruction-era “Kelly unearths the stories of the people-farm laborers, domestic workers, factory employees—behind some of the labor movement’s biggest successes.” —The New York Times A revelatory and inclusive history of the American labor movement, from independent journalist and Teen Vogue labor columnist Kim Kelly. Freed Black women organizing for protection in the Reconstruction-era South. Jewish immigrant garment workers braving deadly conditions for a sliver of independence. Asian American fieldworkers rejecting government-sanctioned indentured servitude across the Pacific. Incarcerated workers advocating for basic human rights and fair wages. The queer Black labor leader who helped orchestrate America’s civil rights movement. These are only some of the working-class heroes who propelled American labor’s relentless push for fairness and equal protection under the law. The names and faces of countless silenced, misrepresented, or forgotten leaders have been erased by time as a privileged few decide which stories get cut from the final copy: those of women, people of color, LGBTQIA people, disabled people, sex workers, prisoners, and the poor. In this assiduously researched work of journalism, Teen Vogue columnist and independent labor reporter Kim Kelly excavates that history and shows how the rights the American worker has today—the forty-hour workweek, workplace-safety standards, restrictions on child labor, protection from harassment and discrimination on the job—were earned with literal blood, sweat, and tears. Fight Like Hell comes at a time of economic reckoning in America. From Amazon’s warehouses to Starbucks cafes, Appalachian coal mines to the sex workers of Portland’s Stripper Strike, interest in organized labor is at a fever pitch not seen since the early 1960s. Inspirational, intersectional, and full of crucial lessons from the past, Fight Like Hell shows what is possible when the working class demands the dignity it has always deserved.


Compare

“Kelly unearths the stories of the people-farm laborers, domestic workers, factory employees—behind some of the labor movement’s biggest successes.” —The New York Times A revelatory and inclusive history of the American labor movement, from independent journalist and Teen Vogue labor columnist Kim Kelly. Freed Black women organizing for protection in the Reconstruction-era “Kelly unearths the stories of the people-farm laborers, domestic workers, factory employees—behind some of the labor movement’s biggest successes.” —The New York Times A revelatory and inclusive history of the American labor movement, from independent journalist and Teen Vogue labor columnist Kim Kelly. Freed Black women organizing for protection in the Reconstruction-era South. Jewish immigrant garment workers braving deadly conditions for a sliver of independence. Asian American fieldworkers rejecting government-sanctioned indentured servitude across the Pacific. Incarcerated workers advocating for basic human rights and fair wages. The queer Black labor leader who helped orchestrate America’s civil rights movement. These are only some of the working-class heroes who propelled American labor’s relentless push for fairness and equal protection under the law. The names and faces of countless silenced, misrepresented, or forgotten leaders have been erased by time as a privileged few decide which stories get cut from the final copy: those of women, people of color, LGBTQIA people, disabled people, sex workers, prisoners, and the poor. In this assiduously researched work of journalism, Teen Vogue columnist and independent labor reporter Kim Kelly excavates that history and shows how the rights the American worker has today—the forty-hour workweek, workplace-safety standards, restrictions on child labor, protection from harassment and discrimination on the job—were earned with literal blood, sweat, and tears. Fight Like Hell comes at a time of economic reckoning in America. From Amazon’s warehouses to Starbucks cafes, Appalachian coal mines to the sex workers of Portland’s Stripper Strike, interest in organized labor is at a fever pitch not seen since the early 1960s. Inspirational, intersectional, and full of crucial lessons from the past, Fight Like Hell shows what is possible when the working class demands the dignity it has always deserved.

30 review for Fight Like Hell: The Untold History of American Labor

  1. 4 out of 5

    Book Clubbed

    My dad was a labor organizer, so I need no persuasion to agree with the power of organized labor and the necessity of worker rights. My review, then, is rather about the stories Kelly chooses to tell, the structure of those stories, and the tone she has settled on. Kelly covers a lot of ground, escorting us through American labor and its many obstacles, neatly grouped into themes. We get a good sense of labor's leading figures, although these glowing profiles too often lost definition under the r My dad was a labor organizer, so I need no persuasion to agree with the power of organized labor and the necessity of worker rights. My review, then, is rather about the stories Kelly chooses to tell, the structure of those stories, and the tone she has settled on. Kelly covers a lot of ground, escorting us through American labor and its many obstacles, neatly grouped into themes. We get a good sense of labor's leading figures, although these glowing profiles too often lost definition under the rainbow gloss of adjectives and superlatives. The people profiled in this book are undoubtedly American heroes, often quite literarily risking their lives to fight for the basic rights of working-class men and women. Personally, I would have rather seen that come through in their own actions and words, and not in the effusive, rally-the-troops style of the prose. In fact, I gravitate more towards legends who have noticeable flaws and warts, their humanity casting their accomplishments all that more extraordinary.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Theo Logos

    Excluding the “Other” has been a great Achilles heel in the history of the American labor movement. Whether it was skilled workers excluding unskilled, whites excluding blacks, men excluding women, natives excluding immigrants, or hetero excluding queer, it detracts from their potential strength. Beyond that, it allows Capital to use a divide and conquer strategy to defeat Labor goals. Kim Kelly’s book, Fight Like Hell, focuses on the stories of those who have often been excluded from the mainst Excluding the “Other” has been a great Achilles heel in the history of the American labor movement. Whether it was skilled workers excluding unskilled, whites excluding blacks, men excluding women, natives excluding immigrants, or hetero excluding queer, it detracts from their potential strength. Beyond that, it allows Capital to use a divide and conquer strategy to defeat Labor goals. Kim Kelly’s book, Fight Like Hell, focuses on the stories of those who have often been excluded from the mainstream of the Labor Movement. It is full of short histories and anecdotes of women, Blacks, Latinos, immigrants, and LGBTQ union activists and groups, all the way back to the early 19th century. The stories are sometimes of victories against the odds, sometimes about valiant fights waged and lost, but all show the potential power of all these othered groups, and demonstrate their place in Labor history. She also focuses on organizing in difficult and non traditional industries, such as farming, domestic work, sex work, and even prison labor. The book is organized thematically rather than chronologically. I found this a bit jarring, as stories would be jumping multiple decades in time backwards and forwards again, sometimes feeling unconnected despite the loose themes. Also, the tone of the book was much like the rah rah atmosphere of a union meeting firing up the members for a rally rather than a straight historical rendering. These quibbles aside, this is an important book. By emphasizing the stories of those often excluded both by society at large and by organized labor, Kelly puts them back into Labor’s story. She explodes the stereotype image of labor as just some old white guy in a hard hat. This is absolutely necessary for the Labor Movement to succeed going forward. Everyone is needed in the fight. Divisive infighting and exclusion based on fear and prejudice cannot be tolerated. We all get there together, or none of us get there.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Viola

    A revelatory and inclusive history of the American labor movement, from journalist Kim Kelly. The history of organized labor in America all too often conjures a bygone era and generic images of slick-haired strongmen and hard-hatted construction workers. But in fact, one of America’s first unions was founded by Black Mississippi freedwomen in the 1860s. Jewish immigrant garment workers were instrumental in getting worker protections incorporated into FDR’s New Deal. Latino- and Asian-Fight Fight A revelatory and inclusive history of the American labor movement, from journalist Kim Kelly. The history of organized labor in America all too often conjures a bygone era and generic images of slick-haired strongmen and hard-hatted construction workers. But in fact, one of America’s first unions was founded by Black Mississippi freedwomen in the 1860s. Jewish immigrant garment workers were instrumental in getting worker protections incorporated into FDR’s New Deal. Latino- and Asian-Fight Fight Like Hell - Kim Kelly. American farmworkers in California were 1970s pioneers in the fight for racial inclusion and a fair wage. And today, the @Amazon warehouse employees fighting to unionize in Bessemer, Alabama are 85% Black. In Fight Like Hell, Teen Vogue labor columnist and independent journalist Kim Kelly tells a definitive history of the labor movement and the people—workers, organizers, and their allies—who risked everything to win fair wages, better working conditions, disability protections, and an eight-hour workday. That history is a 1972 clothing company strike that saw 4,000 Chicana laborers start a boycott that swept the nation. It is Ida Mae Stull’s 1934 demand for the right to work in an Ohio coal mine alongside the men, and the enslaved Black women before her who weren’t given a choice. It’s Dorothy Lee Bolden’s 1960s rise from domestic workers’ union founder to White House anti-segregationist. It’s Mother Jones on the picket lines, and Lucy Parsons, Marie Equi, Ben Fletcher, and Frank Little’s militant battles against the ravages of capitalism. It’s the flight attendants union that pushed to root out sexual assault in the skies and ended a 2019 federal government shutdown. It’s the incarcerated workers organizing prison strikes for basic rights, and the sex workers building collective power outside the law. And it is Bayard Rustin, a queer civil rights pioneer who helped organize Dr. King’s March on Washington and promoted the alignment between movements for labor and civil rights. As America grapples with the unfinished business of emancipation, the New Deal, and Johnson’s Great Society, Fight Like Hell offers a transportive look at the forgotten heroes who’ve sacrificed to make good on the nation’s promises. Kim Kelly’s publishing debut is both an inspiring read and a vital contribution to American history. Kim Kelly Kim Kelly is a freelance journalist, author, and organizer based in Philadelphia. She has been a regular labor columnist for Teen Vogue since 2018, and her writing on labor, class, politics, and culture has appeared in The New Republic, The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Baffler, The Nation, The Columbia Journalism Review, and Esquire. Kelly has also worked as a video correspondent for More Perfect Union, The Real News Network, and Means TV. A third-generation union member, she was an original organizer of the VICE Union, and is now a member of the #IWW Industrial Workers of the World’s Freelance Journalist Union as well as an elected councilperson for the Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE). Publisher: Atria/One Signal Publishers (April 26, 2022) Length: 288 pages ISBN13: 9781982171056 Source: https://www.simonandschuster.com/book...

  4. 5 out of 5

    Kalina Newman

    NOTE: I received an advanced copy on this book through my work in the American labor movement. That being said, Kelly's debut novel is a must-read for anyone who's into history, progressive causes, labor unions, or just looking for a fast-paced, expertly reported essay collection featuring worker stories I *promise* you've never read before. I can't recommend this book enough! NOTE: I received an advanced copy on this book through my work in the American labor movement. That being said, Kelly's debut novel is a must-read for anyone who's into history, progressive causes, labor unions, or just looking for a fast-paced, expertly reported essay collection featuring worker stories I *promise* you've never read before. I can't recommend this book enough!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Maggie Carr

    Holy cow! I was kinda out of the loop when it comes to Unions. I didn't grow up with the need to know what they were nor who they protected and now I feel like I'm 34 years behind in fighting for my friends, community, country and world. These pages were filled not only with history but of current events, including forced labor preparing PPE during the Covid-19 pandemic and essential workers. So many of my other reads tied in as well with chapters on sideshow/curiosity circuits and their rights, Holy cow! I was kinda out of the loop when it comes to Unions. I didn't grow up with the need to know what they were nor who they protected and now I feel like I'm 34 years behind in fighting for my friends, community, country and world. These pages were filled not only with history but of current events, including forced labor preparing PPE during the Covid-19 pandemic and essential workers. So many of my other reads tied in as well with chapters on sideshow/curiosity circuits and their rights, wildfire inmate firefighters in California and even into the menstruation movement and being able to purchase and afford period products as inmates. I'm definitely going to pay more attention when I hear about or drive by picket lines from here on out. This book was definitely an education to me

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    I received this as an eGalley ARC from NetGalley. I really liked how this book was written/organized- instead of telling a strictly chronological history of the American Labor movement Kelly wrote chapters on different segments of American society and their own history of organizing- as well as pointing out the ways that the different groups interacted and intersected. I especially liked the chapters of the unionization of Sex Workers, Prisoners, and domestic workers all segments of labor history I received this as an eGalley ARC from NetGalley. I really liked how this book was written/organized- instead of telling a strictly chronological history of the American Labor movement Kelly wrote chapters on different segments of American society and their own history of organizing- as well as pointing out the ways that the different groups interacted and intersected. I especially liked the chapters of the unionization of Sex Workers, Prisoners, and domestic workers all segments of labor history I knew little about before reading this book. Highly recommended!

  7. 5 out of 5

    pugs

    if you're completely new to learning about organized labor, this is an easy 5 star, kelly hits on the importance of coal mining, domestic/house work, haymarket, teamsters, afl and cio histories, undocumented labor, airlines, and sex work; and revolves around the role of women in all-men's unions, women developing unions themselves, Black, indigenous, east, south east asian, and latina purposefully focused, along with labor's ties to queer liberation. it just as easily could have been called "a p if you're completely new to learning about organized labor, this is an easy 5 star, kelly hits on the importance of coal mining, domestic/house work, haymarket, teamsters, afl and cio histories, undocumented labor, airlines, and sex work; and revolves around the role of women in all-men's unions, women developing unions themselves, Black, indigenous, east, south east asian, and latina purposefully focused, along with labor's ties to queer liberation. it just as easily could have been called "a people's history of american labor"--very readable like zinn, with a lot of introductory information. 'fight like hell' isn't necessarily targeted towards those who are familiar with related theory, almost guaranteeing if you're actively in socialist or anarchist circles, there's nothing all that new here, but kelly deserves credit in her summations of labor events if you need a recap or refresher (in that case, it's a 3, but for its wide span and hopefully a gateway for more people yearning for a united, international working class, you better believe i'm still giving it a 5 overall).

  8. 4 out of 5

    Heather Jones

    Is this the first time I've read a book because a cat recommended it to me? Maybe. But Jorts the Cat suggested that this book was well worth reading, and the cat was totally right. At first, I was not so sure I was going to get into this history of labor unions, specifically, the history of the involvement of people who sometimes get edited out of history, like people of color, women, people with disabilities, and people from sexual minorities. But the further I read, the more I wanted to read, Is this the first time I've read a book because a cat recommended it to me? Maybe. But Jorts the Cat suggested that this book was well worth reading, and the cat was totally right. At first, I was not so sure I was going to get into this history of labor unions, specifically, the history of the involvement of people who sometimes get edited out of history, like people of color, women, people with disabilities, and people from sexual minorities. But the further I read, the more I wanted to read, and I closed the book feeling more informed and more engaged, and more connected with labor history, which was so rarely and poorly taught in the schools I attended. Definitely read this, if you want to know more about how you got an eight-hour work day, or what you can do in your own workplace to fight oppression. Thanks, Jorts.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Megan

    Learned so much about labor history from this book, particularly sex worker and prisoner organizing. A great primer

  10. 5 out of 5

    Bruin Mccon

    A must-read for anyone who works. In the wake of striketober, Kim Kelly’s Fight Like Hell covers the history of union activists you probably haven’t heard: women, people of color, immigrants, LGBTQ+ and incarcerated. This is important history that needs to be told. As someone who works in the labor movement and experienced striketober preparing for a strike, I will be taking the history I learned in this book to inform my work.

  11. 5 out of 5

    bree wilhite

    Kim does an incredible job taking an immense amount of history and presenting it in an easy to digest format, organized and clear, with hints of their voice and passion scattered throughout. This is a history so few of us learned in school growing up, but should now be the priority of every adult to learn. Thank you, Kim, for this book and for igniting the fire in so many of us to keeping fighting like hell. I stand in solidarity with you.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Roxanne

    This is an excellent book about a subject I had never read about before which is why I continue to read so I learn new things. The author tells reals stories about people who have fought to win a better world for themselves and for working people. Working at hard jobs in life is hard enough, I worked for 42 as a food server and I had hundreds of booses, some good and a lot of bad. I suffered costant sexual harresment from my fellow male workers and sometimes the customers. Then I would complain This is an excellent book about a subject I had never read about before which is why I continue to read so I learn new things. The author tells reals stories about people who have fought to win a better world for themselves and for working people. Working at hard jobs in life is hard enough, I worked for 42 as a food server and I had hundreds of booses, some good and a lot of bad. I suffered costant sexual harresment from my fellow male workers and sometimes the customers. Then I would complain to my male bosses and they would do nothing about it. This book is a history of labor and how workers fought back to get their rights. I loved how she wrote this book in 13 chapters so it was easy to follow. She talks about the Trailblazers, the garment workers, the mill workers (who some got cancer by breathing toxic fumes), the Revolutionaries, the Miners, the harvesters, the Cleaners, the Freedom Fighters, the Movers, the metal workers, disabled workers, the sex workers and the Prisoners. What is mentioned is how some of the work was avaliable to black and Chinese women and the guests on the trains and the male porters would sexually harrass these ladies. Many disabled workers were treated very badly because they were not considered to be a valuable person. This was very informative book.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Will Dawson

    An incredible and intersectional look at the history of the Labor movement in the United States. Kelly goes into territory many in the past have glossed over due to biases of the times to show how the most marginalized are and have always been a major part of the fight against inequity for a better, more just world both socially and economically.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Anne Luck-Deak

    So good! Kim Kelly’s book is full cover to cover of worker stories from all corners of labor and it was joyous for me to read about struggles I did not know. I most appreciated Kelly’s talent for story-telling and the way it drew me into the lives of the workers featured while yet still encouraging me to learn more. Coming out of reading this I have a list of other books to explore and I love that!

  15. 5 out of 5

    A Dog

    Excellent collection of history that casts an appropriately wide net on who is in The Working Class. Intersectional analyses for all the different sectors covered but also includes those often missed in the discussion like disabled workers, sex workers, and incarcerated workers. It’s also frequently honest about where organized labor has fallen short in solidarity. Some great deep dives that I sure as hell didn’t know about and I think I know at least a bit about this stuff.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Lydia

    I got this book as an arc from a goodreads giveaway and I’m so happy I got it because it was a great and informative read. If you like non-fiction, history, and workers rights, this book is for you.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Rob Martin

    Heads up, I'm an AFSCME staff rep with union organizing experience and have done some labor history research. I effing love this book. Instead of the usual white heterosexual male unionist, which much of labor history is revolved around, this looks at everyone else who has been traditionally ignored. I highly recommend this to anyone with a union background or anyone interested in labor history. I got some nice organizing ideas from this book, which I plan on looking more into. Only critique is Heads up, I'm an AFSCME staff rep with union organizing experience and have done some labor history research. I effing love this book. Instead of the usual white heterosexual male unionist, which much of labor history is revolved around, this looks at everyone else who has been traditionally ignored. I highly recommend this to anyone with a union background or anyone interested in labor history. I got some nice organizing ideas from this book, which I plan on looking more into. Only critique is in the audiobook format. The narrator pronounces "AFSCME" as "A-F-S-C-M-E", whereas it is pronounced as "AFSK-ME". I've heard AFSCME union members who mispronounce it at times, so I don't think it's that troublesome.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Kristi

    *Received a free pre-release copy as part of a GR Giveaway* This book focuses on expanding the story of labor and unionization from the (generally white and male) history we learned in school. I am well aware of many of the movements Kelly highlights here, but did not know the majority of the individuals. I liked how chapters are largely organized around a specific worker profile (i.e. textile workers, mine workers, sex workers). Each chapter offers mini biographies of important, but less well kn *Received a free pre-release copy as part of a GR Giveaway* This book focuses on expanding the story of labor and unionization from the (generally white and male) history we learned in school. I am well aware of many of the movements Kelly highlights here, but did not know the majority of the individuals. I liked how chapters are largely organized around a specific worker profile (i.e. textile workers, mine workers, sex workers). Each chapter offers mini biographies of important, but less well known individuals, as well as organizational histories of the unions/advocacy groups that supported those workers, and situates various individual strikes and major events in (labor) history from the perspective of these "untold" voices within the better known historical context of many of the movements. This is a great primer for learning more about labor in the US. You can jump off using the info and sources to learn more about a specific person/union/labor movement. There's a LOT of ground covered in ~320 pages, shedding light on many hidden/dismissed people within the labor movement. That said, there's a LOT of ground covered here. I felt like the effort to cover so much sometimes limited the development of the themes Kelly is aiming to address. The title also made me think this would be more a more cohesive narrative then I found it to be. I think putting some of the many biographies into a footnote structure would have made it flow a bit better. I know I have an pre-release copy, but it definitely needs another round of editorial review. There were quite a few issues with what appear to be diacritics not formatting properly, the occasional missing word, and some oddly worded sentences. I didn't make a page note, but I remember being shocked to see an organization's acronym defined chapters after it was first used. And there's a sentence on p. 283 that seems to suggest COVID started in 2021. I can't decide if it is poor word choice/sentence structure or a typo. Other notes: There's no index in my copy (again could be that it's pre-release, but it's also not listed in the TOC). An index for this type of book is critical, so I do hope it will be added.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Chris Jaffe

    "The year 2021 will be remembered as a historic one for many reasons, some good, most bad, but as far as I was concerned, the biggest story of the year was the wave of protests, walkouts, resignations, and strikes that swept the nation." (Kelly 313). Sometimes a person can get a little too caught up in their issue, warping their perspective. It becomes more a rah-rah rallying than anything else. That happens here. Kelly is writing an openly and admittedly not exhaustive history of American labor "The year 2021 will be remembered as a historic one for many reasons, some good, most bad, but as far as I was concerned, the biggest story of the year was the wave of protests, walkouts, resignations, and strikes that swept the nation." (Kelly 313). Sometimes a person can get a little too caught up in their issue, warping their perspective. It becomes more a rah-rah rallying than anything else. That happens here. Kelly is writing an openly and admittedly not exhaustive history of American labor. It's more an episodic history of aspects of it. Some of these are more traditional and famous aspects - sweatshop workers, mill workers, heavy industry, and the like. Others are avenues we don't normally visit in labor history - sex workers, prisoners, the disabled. Throughout the entire book, regarless of what industry she's focusing on, Kelly tries to keep an eye on intersectionality, noting labor activists and organizers who were women or minorities or any other sort of outcast group. While our traditional view of the US labor movement is of white men, that's not what you find here. But the book cuts aganist itself a little bit. The episodic nature of its organiztion makes it feel like the book is a series of little stories rather than a big story. Compounding that, while it's nice to note there are women and minorities throughout the history of the labor movement, it's never fully clear it her stories are central to US labor or not. (Ultimately, the paid labor force was heavily white guys for the large majority of US history). This isn't helped by an occassional factual error, such as when she says four of the Haymarket defenders were sentenced to death. (Seven were - two pled for and receieved clemency, one blew himself up the night before his hanging, and the other four were executed by the state of Illniois). It's an interesting book and I glad I gave it a shot. But I ended up skimming most of it.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jason Flynn

    A great primer on the breadth of struggle in the US labor movement, organized as a series of more or less standalone essays tied together thematically by labor sector. Kelly’s brought together complex stories and such variety of people that pretty much anyone picking up this book will find a figure and see themselves reflected. The book is by no means a painstakingly detailed account of US labor history, and doesn’t claim to be. It’s at it’s best when recounting Kelly’s original reporting, and w A great primer on the breadth of struggle in the US labor movement, organized as a series of more or less standalone essays tied together thematically by labor sector. Kelly’s brought together complex stories and such variety of people that pretty much anyone picking up this book will find a figure and see themselves reflected. The book is by no means a painstakingly detailed account of US labor history, and doesn’t claim to be. It’s at it’s best when recounting Kelly’s original reporting, and what she’s called a “blood and guts” depiction of the personalities she draws in. Whether due to lack of space, or lack of resources to draw from, there are unfortunately few accounts in the workers own words that would flesh out their personalities, and build up the character of the book. There’s a degree of “Rah rah!” cheerleading throughout that some might find cheesy, and others enheartening. It’s not a book that I couldn’t put down, but it is the first thing that’s held my interest enough to finish without getting distracted and buying 3 new titles. Kelly mentioned in a streamed talk that the sub-title “the untold history of,” which I I’ve already seen various people gripe with, wasn’t her choice. The publisher insisted on it for marketing reasons, she said.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Karl

    “We stand on the shoulders of giants”. Anyone involved in labor organizing recognizes the importance of all previous fights for labor rights. While the bosses never stop trying to reduce or eliminate workers' power, and while the fight never ends, even a labor action that ends in defeat advances the cause. This is a story of 200 years of American labor action and the men and women who fought in those conflicts. A few names are well known. Most names are unknown to the general public. A few names “We stand on the shoulders of giants”. Anyone involved in labor organizing recognizes the importance of all previous fights for labor rights. While the bosses never stop trying to reduce or eliminate workers' power, and while the fight never ends, even a labor action that ends in defeat advances the cause. This is a story of 200 years of American labor action and the men and women who fought in those conflicts. A few names are well known. Most names are unknown to the general public. A few names would be lost to history without this book. Kim Kelly tells the inspiring tale of the fight for workers’ rights and their leaders who often staked everything standing up to the rich and powerful. The review is well-timed in this moment of labor unrest. With the “Great Resignation” and “Striketober” of 2021 in the recent past and organizing now where it has never gone before, the story of past fights should be illuminating to organizing workers, as well as, to those wondering what is going on. Kudos to Kelly for a needed, well-written book.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Luis Cuesta

    I received this book as a Goodreads giveaway. I like a lot how Kim Kelly's book situates the current resurgence of union power within its historical context, narrating some of labor history’s most powerful moments—from the multiracial alliance that helped unionize the Michigan auto industry to the dangerous working conditions and legal limitations impacting California’s incarcerated firefighters—with depth and nuance. My favorite chapter was the one called “The Disabled Workers,” which is about I received this book as a Goodreads giveaway. I like a lot how Kim Kelly's book situates the current resurgence of union power within its historical context, narrating some of labor history’s most powerful moments—from the multiracial alliance that helped unionize the Michigan auto industry to the dangerous working conditions and legal limitations impacting California’s incarcerated firefighters—with depth and nuance. My favorite chapter was the one called “The Disabled Workers,” which is about the intersection between the disability-rights movement and the labor movement because there have been efforts over the decades and centuries to separate workers on the basis of race, gender, nationality, or ability and In truth we’re all in this together because ultimately everyone either is a worker or was a worker or will be a worker at some point in their life.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Kiswara Mihardja

    A wonderful, vivid portrait gallery of ordinary leaders in their moments of courage across the long sweep of our history. FIGHT LIKE HELL shows that working-class struggle isn’t just something that happens, it’s something that people do—they find the sources of courage in their lives, step out front, and try to get others to follow. — Gabriel Winant, Assistant Professor of History at the University of Chicago and author of The Next Shift: The Fall of Industry and the Rise of Health Care in Rust A wonderful, vivid portrait gallery of ordinary leaders in their moments of courage across the long sweep of our history. FIGHT LIKE HELL shows that working-class struggle isn’t just something that happens, it’s something that people do—they find the sources of courage in their lives, step out front, and try to get others to follow. — Gabriel Winant, Assistant Professor of History at the University of Chicago and author of The Next Shift: The Fall of Industry and the Rise of Health Care in Rust Belt America

  24. 4 out of 5

    LYDIA

    A definitive history of the labor movement in America and the conditions, places, and reasons for needing to unionize. The situations, people, and sacrifices are well documented. A must-read. A complimentary ARC of this novel was provided by a giveaway on Goodreads. This is my honest review. Opinions are mine alone and not biased in any way.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Toby

    Kim Kelly has created another fun entry in the "People's History" genre, and I can imagine Howard Zinn smiling down on this book. Dozens of small stories of people who fought tooth & nail for better working conditions and a better world. Kim Kelly has created another fun entry in the "People's History" genre, and I can imagine Howard Zinn smiling down on this book. Dozens of small stories of people who fought tooth & nail for better working conditions and a better world.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Bruce

    I enjoyed it.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Benja

    Great overview to have all in one place. cant cover EVERYTHING but i appreciate Kelly's work. Great overview to have all in one place. cant cover EVERYTHING but i appreciate Kelly's work.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jenn Adams

    Thorough and inclusive. A great listen, would definitely recommend

  29. 4 out of 5

    Joe

    Great book. Kim tells many stories I was not familiar. Inspiring for the future of workers everywhere.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Miki Hodge

    Union history told through American history. The fight keeps going.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...