Co-authored with Jane McAlevey.
Named by The Nation magazine as Most Valuable Book of 2012.
New York: Verso, 2012
This book renews my faith that organizing works. It calls for a new kind of unionism and makes a compelling case for a new vision for the American labor movement. In the ‘whole worker theory’ that McAlevey tested and retested in real life campaigns, all the issues negatively impacting the poor, working and middle class become the cause of unions, not simply wages and narrowly defined workplace conditions. At a time when climate change is wreaking havoc at home and abroad and communities of color are becoming the vital center of progressive social change, this book offers one path to building a movement that can and must tackle many issues. Raising Expectations is so refreshing because it aspires to tell us how we can rebuild a movement that can win.”
– Van Jones, green jobs advisor to the Obama White House, president and co-founder of Rebuild the Dream
“Raising Expectations is a breath-taking trip through the unionorganizing scene of America in the 21st century. In the battles McAlevey recounts, hardly anyone comes out standing tall. But her story, along with those of so many brave health care workers, fills me with hope.”
– Barbara Ehrenreich, author of Nickel and Dimed
“This book casts a bright light on the problems of American unions. Jane McAlevey gives us an on-the-ground account of the obstacles the union hierarchy throws in the path of a bold and energetic organizing effort that scored a string of brilliant successes before the hierarchy cracked down. We need to read this book and learn its lessons partly for what it tells us is wrong about unions, but also because it demonstrates that good organizers can in fact succeed. That message is heartening because the simple truth is that we can’t rebuild a democratic left in the United States without a revived labor movement.”
– Francis Fox Piven, author of Who’s Afraid of Frances Fox Piven?
“This book is gripping, funny, sad, and very thought-provoking. Jane McAlevey uses her own experiences in a movement that has been undergoing dramatic changes-within a workforce that has undergone even greater changes-to suggest to the reader the necessity and potential for a transformation of the union movement into a real labor movement. Once I started reading it, there was no stopping.”
– Bill Fletcher Jr., author of “They’re Bankrupting Us!” and Twenty Other Myths about Unions