“They're Bankrupting Us!” And 20 Other Myths About Unions
Labor Day: Why Unions Still Matter

Beacon Buzz: Labor Day Sale, the Tweet Laureate, and more!

Labor Day Sale:

In honor of Labor Day, online orders at Beacon.org are 20% off with the code LaborDay12. Offer ends Sept. 4. Some suggested titles that will help you brush up on your knowledge of the holiday:

0332 "They're Bankrupting Us!" And 20 Other Myths about Unions by Bill Fletcher Jr.

From Wisconsin to Washington, DC, the claims are made: unions are responsible for budget deficits, and their members are overpaid and enjoy cushy benefits. The only way to save the American economy, pundits claim, is to weaken the labor movement, strip workers of collective bargaining rights, and champion private industry. In "They're Bankrupting Us!": And 20 Other Myths about Unions, labor leader Bill Fletcher Jr. makes sense of this debate as he unpacks the twenty-one myths most often cited by anti-union propagandists. Drawing on his experiences as a longtime labor activist and organizer, Fletcher traces the historical roots of these myths and provides an honest assessment of the missteps of the labor movement. He reveals many of labor's significant contributions, such as establishing the forty-hour work week and minimum wage, guaranteeing safe workplaces, and fighting for equity within the workforce. This timely, accessible, "warts and all" book argues, ultimately, that unions are necessary for democracy and ensure economic and social justice for all people.

Read a review at Labor Notes.


Book cover for All Labor Has Dignity by Martin Luther King Jr.“All Labor Has Dignity” by Martin Luther King, Jr. Edited and introduction by Michael K. Honey

People forget that Dr. King was every bit as committed to economic justice as he was to ending racial segregation. He fought throughout his life to connect the labor and civil rights movements, envisioning them as twin pillars for social reform. As we struggle with massive unemployment, a staggering racial wealth gap, and the near collapse of a financial system that puts profits before people, King's prophetic writings and speeches underscore his relevance for today. They help us imagine King anew: as a human rights leader whose commitment to unions and an end to poverty was a crucial part of his civil rights agenda.

Covering all the civil rights movement highlights-Montgomery, Albany, Birmingham, Selma, Chicago, and Memphis-award-winning historian Michael K. Honey introduces and traces King's dream of economic equality. Gathered in one volume for the first time, the majority of these speeches will be new to most readers. The collection begins with King's lectures to unions in the 1960s and includes his addresses during his Poor People's Campaign, culminating with his momentous "Mountaintop" speech, delivered in support of striking black sanitation workers in Memphis. Unprecedented and timely, "All Labor Has Dignity" will more fully restore our understanding of King's lasting vision of economic justice, bringing his demand for equality right into the present.


5013Three Strikes: Miners, Musicians, Salesgirls, and the Fighting Spirit of Labor's Last Century by Dana Frank, Robin D. G. Kelly, and Howard Zinn

Three renowned historians present stirring tales of labor: Howard Zinn tells the grim tale of the Ludlow Massacre, a drama of beleaguered immigrant workers, Mother Jones, and the politics of corporate power in the age of the robber barons. Dana Frank brings to light the little-known story of a successful sit-in conducted by the 'counter girls' at the Detroit Woolworth's during the Great Depression. Robin D. G. Kelley's story of a movie theater musicians' strike in New York asks what defines work in times of changing technology.

"Three Strikes brings to life the heroic men and women who put their jobs, bodies, and lives on the line to win a better life for all working Americans. Zinn, Frank, and Kelley show us that while the country and the union movement have changed greatly in the last hundred years, our struggle to close the divide between rich and poor remains the same."-John Sweeney, president, AFL-CIO

"Provocative analysis of still relevant issues, as the passionate, sometimes violent demonstrations at international meetings of the global economy demonstrate."-Mary Carroll, Booklist

"Highly readable, well-researched narratives of dramatic action"-Leon Fink, Chicago Tribune


"Political" News:

LIPMAN-TweetLandofLibertyTweet Land of Liberty: Irreverent Rhymes from the Political Circus by @ElinorLipman

Featured on Amazon's Omnivoracious Blog with an original poem by Lipman.

Beacon launched a new “campaign” to name Elinor Lipman Tweet Laureate of the United States (would this be TLOTUS?).

The campaign includes a Twitter-based giveaway for a free copy of Tweet Land of Liberty and a limited edition campaign button. To enter, this text:

I support a funnier America! @ElinorLipman for #TweetLaureate: http://goo.gl/Bjnjp  #TweetLandofLiberty

Be sure to watch and share the Campaign Video.

Notable Mentions:

6912The Long Walk to Freedom: Runaway Slave Narratives edited by Devon W. Carbado and Donald Weise

Wall Street Journal review Aug 22: “Readers will learn more about slavery in the American South from these autobiographical accounts than they could from any textbook.” 


Faitheist: How an Atheist Found Common Ground with the Religious by Chris Stedman

Kirkus Reviews online August 29 and in print September 15:The searching, intelligent account of a gay man's experiences growing away from God and into a thoughtful and humane atheist Brave and refreshingly open-minded.



Upcoming Author Events:

Sacred Ground: Pluralism, Prejudice, and the Promise of America by Eboo Patel 


August 30th-31st, 2012: Concordia College, Moorhead, MN/Fargo,ND (Live Webcast available of this event!)

September 10th, 2012: Union Theological Seminary, New York, NY

September 17th, 2012: Augsburg College, Minneapolis, MN

October 9th, 2012: College of St. Scholastica, Duluth, MN

October 11th, 2012: : Chicago Ideas Week, Chicago, IL

Upcoming media appearances: MSNBC/Melissa Harris-Perry Show, Sunday, September 9th

WNYC Radio/Brian Lehrer Show (NPR New York), Tuesday, September 11th


Tweet Land of Liberty: Irreverent Rhymes from the Political Circus
by Elinor Lipman

Lipman-TweetlandSeptember 6th, 2012: Corner Bookstore (NYC)

September 23rd, 2012: Writers for Obama and Elizabeth Warren at the Hotel Northampton (Northhampton, MA)

September 24th, 2012: Broadside Books at 7 PM

September 27th, 2012: Women & Children First (Chicago, IL)

September 28th-29th, 2012: Ragdale Foundation, Lake Forest, IL

October 2nd, 2012: Port Washington Public Library (Port Washington, NY)

October 10th, 2012: Brookline Booksmith (Brookline, MA)

October 11th, 2012: Worcester Public Library

October 17th, 2012: Hewlett Woodmere Public Library (Long Island)

October 30th, 2012: Porter Square Books (Cambridge, MA)