Working Class Books: A Labor Day Reading List

You can spend this upcoming weekend grilling and mourning the death of summer, or you can spend the day that was first nationally recognized in 1894 to try and calm down the unionists following the Pullman Strike of the same year. While a chance to cook cased meats (or their vegetarian replacements) and drink some beer is something you should try not to pass up, these books that you should read or reread might help you put things into context a little bit more, and make Labor Day more than just another holiday. 

terkel-working

Working, Studs Terkel

It’s been a while since we’ve hung out in a high school class, but we don’t think this classic work of nonfiction is being taught to our students, and that’s a damn shame. Terkel’s massive look at what people take away from their jobs — the highs and lows of everyday work — is an American masterpiece, and pretty much the oral history that puts all other ones to shame.