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Even since the last edition of this milestone text was released six years ago, unions have continued to shed members; union membership in the private sector of the economy has fallen to levels not seen since the nineteenth century; the forces of economic liberalization (neo-liberalism), capital mobility, and globalization have affected measurably the material standard of living enjoyed by workers in the United States and mass immigration from Latin America and Asia has continued to restructure the domestic labor force. Yet even in the face of an environment unfavorable to trade unionism and a decline in the number of organized workers, as well as the fear of stateless, if not faceless terrorism - the shadow of '911' in which we still live.
Professor Dubofsky has in preparing this new edition of his classic text hewn to the lines laid out in the previous seven in seeking to encourage today's students of labor history to learn about those who built the United States and who will shape its future. In addition to taking the narrative right up to the present, a recent history that includes the election of 2008 as well as the tumultuous blow suffered by the U.S. and world economy in 2008-09, this eighth edition features an entirely new (fourth) bank of photographs and, in light of the avalanche of new scholarly work over the last decade, a complete overhauling of the book's extensive and critical Further Reading section in order to note the very best works from the profuse recent scholarship that explores the history of working people in all its diversity.