Books that Shaped Work in America.

image-medium (5)In honour of its Centennial in 2013, the Department of Labor in the USA, in partnership with the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress, is developing a list of Books that Shaped Work in America.They asked members of the DOL family, as well as many other individuals, for suggestions. Suggest a book

The diverse list includes the ubiquitous “What Color is Your Parachute” by Richard Nelson Bolles that, if not read, has at least been bought by millions of job seekers since 1970. There are books that changed the nature of work, such as Upton Sinclair’s 1906 work “The Jungle,” (am ordering this) which brought attention to the oppressive conditions for workers in Chicago’s meatpacking industry.

“Silent Spring” (1962) by Rachel Carson led to restrictions on the use of the pesticide DDT

There are books about current working conditions, such as Barbara Ehrenreich’s 2001 book “Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America” about struggles faced by the working poor. And the difficulties of women in the working world are represented in “The Girls in the Balcony” by Nan Robertson (1992). It is about the gender discrimination case against The New York Times brought by female reporters and editors.

The list also contains books about the experience of African Americans written in three different centuries, from Harriet Beecher Stowe’s “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” (1852) and Mark Twain’s “Life on the Mississippi” (1883) to Richard Wright’s “Native Son” (1940) and Pittsburgh-native August Wilson’s series of 10 plays “The Pittsburgh Cycle” (1982-2005) and Isabel Wilkerson’s “The Warmth of Other Suns” (2010) about the Great Migration north.

Please reserve any books which we haven’t got and we’ll try to get them

More books will be added as visitors to the site make suggestions.

Here’s the list by author

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