Fight Like Hell : The Untold History of American Labor

Kelly Kim

Simon & Schuster

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, 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.

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