Given recent political upheavals, it seemed a opportune time to explore the history and literature of the labor movement in the United States. Below are works related to the history of organization and collective bargaining in the U.S., criticism of the labor movement, films and biographies of some of the primary figures in organized labor.
For a good general overview, check out the Wikipedia article on labor history.
- From the Folks Who Brought You the Weekend: A short Illustrated History of Labor in the United States by Priscilla Murolo and A.B. Chitty.
- There Is Power in a Union: The Epic Story of Labor in America by Philip Dray
- Labor Legislation: The Struggle to Gain Rights for America’s Workforce by Katherine Lawrence
- Black Americans and Organized Labor: a New History by Paul D. Moreno
- State of the Union: A Century of American Labor by Nelson Lichtenstein
- Pullman Porters and the Rise of Protest Politics in Black America, 1925-1945 by Beth Tompkins Bates
- Rising from the Rails: Pullman Porters and the Making of the Black Middle Class by Larry Tye
- All Labor Has Dignity by Martin Luther King, Jr.
- Collision: How the Rank and File Took Back the Teamsters by Kenneth C. Crowe
- Dark Harbor: The War for the New York Waterfront by Nathan Ward
- Crash Course: The American Automobile Industry's Road from Glory to Disaster by Paul Ingrassia.
- Wobblies!: A Graphic History of the Industrial Workers of the World by Paul Buhle and Nicole Schulman
- Betrayal: How Union Bosses Shake Down Their Members and Corrupt American Politics by Linda Chavez
- Solidarity for Sale: How Corruption Destroyed the Labor Movement and Undermined America's Promise by Robert Fitch.
- Solidarity Divided: The Crisis in Organized Labor and a New Path Toward Social Justice by Bill Fletcher, Jr.
- Black Gold: Wake Up and Smell the Coffee
- The Wobblies
- Maquilapolis: City of Factories
- Norma Rae
- On the Waterfront
- An Organizer's Tale: Speeches by Cesar Chavez
- The Union of Their Dreams: Power, Hope, and Struggle in Cesar Chavez's Farm Worker Movement by Miriam Pawel
- "I Heard You Paint Houses": Frank "the Irishman" Sheeran and the Inside Story of the Mafia, the Teamsters, and the Last Ride of Jimmy Hoffa by Charles Brandt
- Hoffa's Man: The Rise and Fall of Jimmy Hoffa as Witnessed by His Strongest Arm by Joseph Franco
- Sticking to the Union: An Oral History of the Life and Times of Julia Ruuttila by Sandy Polishuk
- Harp Song for a Radical: The Life and Times of Eugene Victor Debs by Marguerite Young
--by Eric Riley