Shift Happens: The History of Labor in the United States (Hardcover)

Shift Happens: The History of Labor in the United States By J. Albert Mann Cover Image

Shift Happens: The History of Labor in the United States (Hardcover)


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You need to work to live.

That’s the truth for most people, and plenty of people in power have been abusing that truth for centuries.

Long before the first labor unions were formed, workers still knew what exploitation looked like. It looked like the enslavement of Black people. It looked like generations of children dying in dangerous jobs. It looked like wealthy people hiring private militaries to attack their employees.

But workers have always found a way to fight back. Lokono tribespeople resisted Columbus and his colonizers. Enslaved people led walkouts and rebellions. Textile workers demanded a wage that would let them have fun, not just survive. Miners died for the right to unionize. From 30,000 young seamstresses striking in the early 1900s to Uber drivers organizing for change today, people have learned we’re stronger when we are united.

Shift Happens is a smart, funny, and engaging look at the history of the worker actions that brought us weekends, pay equality, desegregation, an end to child labor, and so much more. 

J. Albert Mann is a disability activist and an award-winning author for young people. She has an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts in writing for children and young adults and is the partner liaison for the WNDB Internship Grant Committee. Her work has won the Massachusetts Book Award Honor, has received a Disability Visibility grant, was named both a Bank Street Best Book and a BCCB Blue Ribbon Book, and was selected for IBBY’s Outstanding Books for Young People with Disabilities. Born and raised in New Jersey, she now lives on a fishing boat in Boston Harbor.

Product Details ISBN: 9780063273481
ISBN-10: 0063273489
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publication Date: June 4th, 2024
Pages: 416
Language: English

The AI revolution is here—and Shift Happens is the book young readers absolutely need to understand how to fight back against the people who want to strip-mine their humanity for profit and call it progress.  — Martha Brockenbrough