Woodrow Wilson working at his desk on May 1, 1917.

Don’t Be So Quick to Laud Woodrow Wilson

An effort is underway to restore President Wilson’s reputation as a great reformer. His best reforms were won by a mass movement, often pushing against Wilson.
The cover of "Beyond Norma Rae" by Aimee Loiselle

Who Makes the American Working Class: Women Workers and Culture

Female industrial workers across the country and from diverse racial backgrounds fought to tell their own stories.
Irma Sherman, Chair of McMaid Workers Organizing Committee.

How Four Black Women Changed Labor Organizing Forever

40 years ago in Chicago, McMaid workers sparked a movement.
An engraving of Mrs. David Meade Randolph by Charle de Saint-Mémin.

Southern Hospitality? The Abstracted Labor of the Whole Pig Roast

Barbecue is a cornerstone of American cuisine, containing all of the contradictions of the country itself.
Dred Scott.

Setting the Records Straight: U.S. Officers’ Pay Claims “Vouching” for Slavery

Military archives reveal the brutal history of slavery in the U.S. Army.
Collage depicting shipping containers, a scale weighing American dollars, and a screen of numbers and percentages

Free Trade's Origin Myth

American elites accepted the economic theory of "comparative advantage" mainly because it justified their geopolitical agenda.
A portrait of Andrew Jackson.

Whiggism Is Still Wrong

Vivek Ramaswamy says he wants to "make hard work cool again." He isn’t the first.
Donald Trump, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, and Vince McMhaon at a press conference before Wrestlemania 23, 2007.

The Misunderstood History of American Wrestling

A recent biography of Vince McMahon presents him as an entertainment tycoon who changed culture and politics. The real story is as banal as it is brutal.
Display selling nuts

“Girls, We Can’t Lose!”: In 1930s St Louis, Black Women Workers Went on Strike and Won

During the Great Depression, St. Louis's Funsten Nut Factory was racially divided. But Black workers went on strike — and got their white coworkers to join them.
Employees working at desks in post office

Guaranteed Income? 14th Grade? Before AI, Tech Fears Drove Bold Ideas.

Three-quarters of a century before artificial intelligence concerns, rapid advances in automation prompted panic about mass unemployment—and radical solutions.
Labor day parade

Just Transition: Learning From the Tactics of Past Labor Movements

It is time to recognize the power that organized labor can wield to fight for environmental, economic and social justice.
Loggers standing next to logs floating down a river in the Oregon forests
partner

Water Logs

Log drivers once steered loose timber on rivers across America before railroad expansion put such shepherds out of work.
A drawing of a woman looking inside the door of a church where children are playing.

The Quiet Revolution of the Sabbath

Requiring rest, rather than work, is still a radical idea.

Eight and Skate

The age of optimism that lasted in the US from the 1940s to the 1970s looked, basically, like a car.
United Auto Workers President Shawn Fain shaking hands with union members.

Can the UAW Transform America Again?

By thinking big, Shawn Fain is summoning memories of Walter Reuther and the autoworkers’ union’s finest hour.
Disney strikers picketing the premiere of The Reluctant Dragon, Los Angeles, July 1941.

Storyboards and Solidarity

The current Hollywood strikes have a precedent in Disney’s golden age, when the company was a hothouse of innovation and punishing expectation.
Front cover of Rendered Obsolete: Energy Culture and the Afterlife of US Whaling.

Underground Whales: An Energy Archaeology

On the history of whaling and how we understand energy consumption.
Poster of Kate Mullaney holding an iron in a fist above her head, with the words "Don't iron while the strike is hot."

Reopened Museum Honors Women's Fight for Fairness

Kate Mullany's former home in Troy, New York honors one of the earliest women's labor unions that sought fair pay and safe working conditions.
A Yale University student labeling and sorting Army recruitment posters on campus during World War I.

This Forgotten American Orwell Had a Lot to Tell Us

Malcolm Ross is unknown today. That’s too bad. This son of privilege has much to teach us about labor and civic leadership.
A miner carries a sack of ore at the Shabara mine near Kolwezi.

First They Mined for the Atomic Bomb. Now They’re Mining for E.V.s.

Miners in the Democratic Republic of Congo face few protections in the global rush for metals in energy transition—a toxic legacy from mining nuclear weapons.