Fight Like Hell: The Untold History of American Labor

Fight Like Hell: The Untold History of American Labor

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"Kelly unearths the stories of the people-farm laborers, domestic workers, factory employees--behind some of the labor movement's biggest successes." --The New York Times

A revelatory and inclusive history of the American labor movement, from independent journalist and Teen Vogue labor columnist Kim Kelly.

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, Teen Vogue 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.

Fight Like Hell comes at a time of economic reckoning in America. From Amazon's warehouses to Starbucks cafes, Appalachian coal mines to the sex workers of Portland's Stripper Strike, interest in organized labor is at a fever pitch not seen since the early 1960s.

Inspirational, intersectional, and full of crucial lessons from the past, Fight Like Hell shows what is possible when the working class demands the dignity it has always deserved.

Author: Kim Kelly
Publisher: Atria/One Signal Publishers
Published: 04/26/2022
Pages: 448
Binding Type: Hardcover
Weight: 1.38lbs
Size: 9.26h x 6.36w x 1.53d
ISBN: 9781982171056

Review Citation(s):
Library Journal Prepub Alert 11/01/2021 pg. 19
Kirkus Reviews 03/01/2022 pg. 71
Publishers Weekly 03/28/2022
Booklist 04/01/2022 pg. 3
Library Journal 04/01/2022 pg. 96

About the Author
Kim Kelly is a freelance journalist, author, and organizer based in Philadelphia. She has been a regular labor columnist for Teen Vogue since 2018, and her writing on labor, class, politics, and culture has appeared in The New Republic, The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Baffler, The Nation, The Columbia Journalism Review, and Esquire. Kelly has also worked as a video correspondent for More Perfect Union, The Real News Network, and Means TV. A third-generation union member, she was an original organizer of the VICE Union, and is now a member of the Industrial Workers of the World's Freelance Journalist Union as well as an elected councilperson for the Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE).