Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Advance Comments on COLLISION COURSE

“The Air Traffic Controllers strike of 1981 was one of the most important struggles in American history, and by breaking the union, Ronald Reagan dealt a blow to the labor movement from which it has still not recovered. If you care about the labor movement, you need to read Collision Course—and even if you don’t, you’ll be transfixed by the drama of McCartin’s story-telling.”
E. J. Dionne, syndicated columnist, author of Why Americans Hate Politics

Collision Course is a powerfully moving account of one of the signal events in twentieth century labor history. With empathy and exquisite story-telling skill, McCartin captures a history with powerful resonance as we look to the future of collective bargaining."
Alice Kessler-Harris, author of In Pursuit of Equity
“The signal event in the evisceration of the American middle class was Ronald Reagan’s breaking the air traffic controllers’ strike in 1981. In Collision Course, Joe McCartin brilliantly and compellingly tells this tragic tale, and situates it in the broader narrative of middle-class America’s long and sickening decline.”
Harold Meyerson, Editor-at-Large of The American Prospect and op-ed columnist for The Washington Post.

“This brilliant book puts Joe McCartin’s prodigious talents on full display. From its harrowing opening to its elegiac conclusion, Collision Course exposes the toxic blend of economics, politics, and hubris that turned the 1981 air traffic controllers’ strike into one of the pivotal moments in recent American history.”
Kevin Boyle, Ohio State University, National Book Award winning author of Arc of Justice

"By firing the air traffic controllers, and successfully replacing them, Reagan heralded the end of a political era when labor unions—and the workers they represented—were an integral part of the American social contract. Joseph McCartin tells the story in gripping detail. It’s must reading for anyone interested in the recent history of American politics and labor relations.”

No labor conflict of the last half-century did more to shape American labor relations and politics than the 1981 walkout of the Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization (PATCO), which was broken by Ronald Reagan. Joseph A. McCartin explores the origins and impact of that historic strike in his unforgettably dramatic tale.

In August 1981, PATCO called an illegal strike. The new president, Ronald Reagan, fired the strikers, establishing a reputation for both decisiveness and hostility to organized labor. As McCartin writes, the strike was the culmination of two decades of escalating conflict between controllers and the government that stemmed from the high-pressure nature of the job and the controllers’ inability to negotiate with their employer over vital issues. PATCO’s fall not only ushered in a long period of labor decline; it also served as a harbinger of the campaign against public sector unions that now roils American politics.

Collision Course sets the strike within a vivid panorama of the rise of the world’s busiest air-traffic control system. It begins with an arresting account of the 1960 midair collision over New York that cost 134 lives and exposed the weaknesses of an overburdened system. Through the stories of controllers like Mike Rock and Jack Maher, who were galvanized into action by that disaster and went on to found PATCO, it describes the efforts of those who sought to make the airways safer and fought to win a secure place in the American middle class. It climaxes with the story of Reagan and the controllers, who surprisingly endorsed the Republican on the promise that he would address their grievances. That brief, fateful alliance triggered devastating miscalculations that changed America, forging patterns that still govern the nation’s labor politics.

Written with an eye for detail and a grasp of the vast consequences of the PATCO conflict for both air travel and the American working class, Collision Course is a stunning achievement.

1 comment:

  1. The phone was her worst enemy and her best friend but she never knew which until she answered it.

    Cheap Flights to Lusaka