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Showing posts from February, 2017

Strikemakers and Strikebreakers by Sidney Lens: Strikes! Strikes in America!

Mm. Can you feel it? Labor history. Just what we all want to talk about. I was perusing floor 4 of the downtown main branch of the Chicago Public Library when I found Sidney Lens's Strikemakers and Strikebreakers .  What I found from even just the opening of this book is that, it turns out, unions came around about the same time as capitalism. Haha can you guess why? Oh, I can tell you – it's because capitalism encourages individuals to make as much money as they can for themselves and not give a shit about other people. #ohnoshedidnt #yesshedid #thingswomenintheir30ssay #alsointheir20s #amihashtaggingright I've grown up suspicious of unions because they have been portrayed terribly in popular culture. But then of course you learn that unions are why workers have anything . Remember that whole thing about how those with power are not inclined to give it up? Yeah. So if you own a factory, and you're making a ton of money, and you know you can p

Matthew Bowman's "The Mormon People": A Book I Slightly Side-Eye

Matthew Bowman's The Mormon People: The Making of an American Faith is good. He tries to be unbiased, which is REALLY HARD when you're writing about a religion, since most people's religions sound bananapants to everyone else, and he does a pretty good job. HOWEVER. Ok, so you've got Joseph Smith in New York, he has this vision, writes down stuff the angel Moroni tells him or God tells him through the angel or  that God tells him directly (one of those options), Joseph Smith says HEY it's the 1830s, i.e. when everyone in America decided they had they key to the new revolutionary way to do things, and therefore, said Joseph Smith, let's all do this new religion thing that is the way God actually wants us to live. AND PEOPLE JUST SAID OK SURE because that is what people always do. PBS made this great map that clearly shows the Mormon path across the United States. They had to keep moving, because every time they landed somewhere, othe