Beacon Press: "We Are All Fast-Food Workers Now"
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"We Are All Fast-Food Workers Now"

The Global Uprising Against Poverty Wages

Author: Annelise Orleck

The story of low-wage workers rising up around the world to demand respect and a living wage.

We Are All Fast Food Workers Now: The Global Uprising Against Poverty Wages traces the evolution of a new global labor movement sparked and sustained by low-wage workers from Manila to Manhattan, from Baja California to Bangladesh, from Capetown to Cambodia. This is an up close and personal look at globalization and its costs, as seen through the eyes and told whenever possible through the words of low-wage workers themselves: the berry pickers and small farmers, fast food servers, retail cashiers, garment workers, hotel housekeepers, home health care aides, airport workers and adjunct professors who are fighting for respect, safety and a living wage. The result of 140 interviews by award-winning historian Annelise Orleck, and with original photographs by Liz Cooke, this is a powerful look at neo-liberalism and its damages, a story of resistance and rebellion, a reflection on hope and change as it rises from the bottom up.
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“Stunning in its breadth and impact, filled with vivid characters from many countries who speak in as many languages, the book is an epic achievement—it shows us globalization from the perspective of the people who do its work. It is proof that a superb historian can reveal the often hidden present as well as the past.”
—Linda Gordon, author of The Second Coming of the KKK: The Ku Klux Klan of the 1920s and the American Political Tradition

“With common sense and a lot of fire, low-wage workers across the globe are building social movements. Crafted with corazón, this book is a crisply paced, panoramic labor history of the here and now.”
—Vicki L. Ruiz, author of From Out of the Shadows: Mexican Women in Twentieth-Century America


‘We Are All Fast-Food Workers Now’ is a vivid rendering of the human impact of free trade policies and neoliberal restructuring across the globe. Annelise Orleck tells the stories of members of the global ‘precariat’ in the Philippines, Cambodia, Bangladesh, the US, and elsewhere, and their struggles for a living wage. A welcome addition to courses on social inequalities, social movements, and social change, it will shift how students see the hamburgers they eat and the clothes they wear.”
—Professor Arlene Stein, Institute for Research on Women at Rutgers University

“On motorcycle and foot, through crooked streets, public squares, coffee shops, and parking lots, Annelise Orleck takes us on an inspiring journey across Asia, the Americas, and Europe into the world of low-wage organizing. With an ethnographer’s eye, historian’s perspective, and activist’s passion, she not merely charts the precariousness of work under a rapacious capitalism but captures the power of protest to transform lives. A must for classes in Labor, Globalization, and Gender.”
—Professor Eileen Boris, Hull Professor of Feminist Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara

‘We Are All Fast-Food Workers Now’ is essential reading for any law student or legal professional seeking to harness law in service of social justice. As she illuminates the precarity uniting workers around the globe, Orleck calls out the laws and legal structures that have failed them, while also highlighting creative legal strategies for demanding dignity and basic security.”
—Professor Karen Tani, Assistant Professor of Law, University of California, Berkeley

“What happens when an accomplished social movement historian turns her gaze on the present? This wonderful and urgent history-of-the-present. I often struggle with finding powerful and evocative treatments of contemporary social movements that measure up to the riveting, richly contextualized histories we have for the civil rights era. This book does that—and embeds US struggles in a global movement for anti-poverty wages and humane conditions.”
—Professor Jeanne Theoharis, Distinguished Professor of Political Science at Brooklyn College and author of A More Beautiful and Terrible History: The Uses and Misuses of Civil Rights History

“From hundreds of small stories of vulnerability and resistance, Annelise Orleck skillfully weaves an inspiring global narrative of protest, coalition and empowerment—a narrative essential to students of oral history, testimony and witness, and activism in the face of a global economy of indifference and disposability. This is a model of engaged scholarship, empathic and respectful toward its subjects, enabling to its readers.”
—Professor Marianne Hirsch, William Peterfield Trent Professor of English and Comparative Literature and Professor in the Institute for Research on Women, Gender, and Sexuality at Columbia University

"We Are All Fast-Food Workers Now"

ISBN: 978-080708177-8
Publication Date: 2/27/2018
Size:6 x 9
Price:  $18.00
Format: Paperback
Not Yet Published
Will Ship On: February 2018
(Backorder policy)