Tag Archives: Labor Day

If You Must Read One Book This Labor Day, Read Common Sense and a Little Fire, Second Edition: Women and Working-Class Politics in the United States, 1900-1965

In the working world, there are certain things that we are used to: a reasonable wage, a set number of working hours, a safe working environment, etc. But it was not so long ago that it took mass protests and generations of union workers demanding their rights for these to happen.

If you must read one book this Labor Day, I highly recommend Common Sense and a Little Fire, Second Edition: Women and Working-Class Politics in the United States, 1900-1965 by Annelise Orleck. Telling the story of Rose Schneiderman, Fannia Cohn, Clara Lemlich Shavelson and Pauline Newman, Ms. Orleck tells the story of how four immigrant women created and defined the labor movement for their time and for our time.

I think this book is important to read, especially today, because many of us have off today. We take for granted the rights that we have as employees, especially those of us who are protected and supported by a union. In the time of the women whose stories are told in the book, joining a union and protesting at best meant being professionally blacklisted and at worst, meant a trip to the hospital after being beaten during a protest.

These four women and many others paved the way for the working world that many of us know of today. Wherever you are and whatever you are doing today, if you have a chance to read this book today, I highly recommend that you do.

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Filed under Book Review, Books, Feminism, History

The Cycle of Mass Shootings Begins Again

For many of us, Labor Day is the lovely, but unwanted reminder that Fall is coming. It’s the last opportunity to go to the beach, to go to the ballpark and to barbecue. In short, it is the last hurrah of the summer.

But for the people of Texas, this Labor Day weekend is just another cycle of mass shootings. Over the past 48 hours, there were two mass shootings in Texas. In Midland, 7 people are dead. In Odessa, 5 people are dead and 21 are injured. Among the injured is a little girl under the age of two.

At this point in time, the motives of the shooters are not known.

I don’t know about anyone else, but I feel like I am becoming desensitized to this headline. It is becoming too commonplace, just another day in America and another mass shooting.

I don’t want to be desensitized. I want to be angry and frustrated that some of our politicians (I am looking at you, Mitch McConnell) continue to put their head in the sand or look the other way.

At some point, this madness has to stop. At some point, we must enact common sense gun legislation that protects innocent civilians while protecting the rights of responsible gun owners. Frankly, I don’t know when we will reach that point.

May the memories of those murdered be a blessing.

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Filed under National News

Labor Day-Tense and Suspenseful

Romantic dramas and coming of age stories usually fall into two categories: Sappy and predictable or suspenseful and unpredictable.

Labor Day, thankfully falls into the second category.

Based on the book of the same name by Joyce Maynard, Labor Day is a love story, but also a coming of age story.

Adele (Kate Winslet) is a divorced single mother who has become anxious and isolated since her husband Gerald (Clark Gregg) left her for another woman. Her son, Henry (Gattlin Griffith) tries to make up for his father’s absence, but is lacking. When a convict, Frank (Josh Brolin) uses them as a means to hide until he can escape from the police, he becomes the father Henry needs and provides the love that Adele needs. 

I enjoyed this movie. It sort of had a Wonder Years type of narrative. Toby Maguire narrates the story as an adult Henry, remembering those fateful 5 days.  It could have been sappy, cliched or predictable. But it wasn’t. I was on the edge of my seat the entire movie. Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin have electric chemistry, Gattlin Griffith plays his character as both a young boy on the edge of growing up, but also taking on the responsibility of being the man of the house.

I may just read the book.

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Filed under Movie Review, Reviews