Resources & Links
Here are some resources and links that provide additional information about working-class issues. We are looking for suggestions, so let us know if there are other resources that should be considered for inclusion in our list.
Working by Studs Terkel. The New Press (New York, NY) 1970
This oral history of working life became a runaway bestseller when it was released in the 1970s. The interviews capture the search for meaningful work and purpose as told by people from every walk of life. The book provides thought-provoking insights, still relevant today, into what Mr. Terkel described as, “the extraordinary dreams of everyday people.” It's well written and well worth your time.
Journals & Magazines
Workers Write! and Overtime. Blue Cubicle Press LLC
These two journals, published by Blue Cubicle Press, have made important contributions to working-class literature. They offer stories and poems about jobs that define who we are as individuals and communities.
Mike Rowe Works
Mike Rowe shows his affinity for the working class in his television show Dirty Jobs. This website demonstrates his commitment to celebrating all aspects of skilled labor. It's part of his public relations campaign for hard work. The website provides discussion forums and lots of useful information on employment and educational resources. It's entertaining and informative. Visiting the website is great way to show your support for for our public relations guru, Mr. Rowe.
Payday is a website devoted to the working class art and life, presented from a working class perspective. It includes an extensive compilation of North American working-class autobiographies, humor, and quotations. The editor, Cheryl Cline, is an advocate for the working class who is dedicated to debunking the myths about who we are and what we do.
Center for Working Class Studies (CWCS) at Youngstown State University.
This is one of the best academic websites I have found. It offers weekly commentaries on current issues related to working-class people and communities. I particularly enjoy reading the posts on their Working-Class Perspectives blog. Contributors discuss a variety of issues, from what class means to how it intersects with race and gender to how class is shaping American politics. New posts appear every Monday.
Blue Collar Review
Partisan Press offers the Journal of Progressive Working Class Literature, a quarterly journal of prose and poetry. Their mission is to promote a working-class vision of culture. Subscriptions to the journal are available at very reasonable rates. They also sponsor A Working People's Poetry Contest, with a cash prize of $100 for the winner. The online poetry samples are thought-provoking and inspiring.
Philip Levine, Poet Laureate
Philip Levine's book, The Simple Truth (Knopf, 1994) was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. He was nominated Poet Laureate in 2011. Much of his poetry is based on his experience working in the auto industry when he was in his twenties. It is insightful and beautifully written. Mr. Levine is a national treasure who has spent his professional career embracing the angst of the working class. If you would like to learn more about Mr. Levine and his publications, the following link will get you started.