"There are more of us than there are of them"
🎧 The Fingers Podcast with Kim Kelly, journalist and author of 'Fight Like Hell'
You know how mainstream normies these days are talking about that Amazon warehouse unionizing, making fun of the “nobody wants to work anymore” crowd, fantasizing about “general strikes” on Twitter, and just generally seem to be way more into the labor movement than ever before? Where the hell did all that come from?
So glad you asked. Today, exclusively for paying Friends of Fingers, I’ve got an interview with Kim Kelly, a labor journalist and author of the new book Fight Like Hell: The Untold History of American Labor. Kim has been covering the labor movement in the United States for years now, and with her column in Teen Vogue—yes, that Teen Vogue—she’s introduced an entire generation of readers to the historic triumphs and tragedies of the American working class. She’s reported from picket lines and protests, giving workers a chance to tell their stories to an independent and unabashedly pro-labor ear rather than have their words contorted—or ignored outright—by corporate media.
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Her debut book (available now at better bookstores across the country as well as The Fingers Reading Room) is a dramatic, fascinating, and eminently readable compilation of the lesser-known stories in the American labor movement. I enjoyed the shit out of Fight Like Hell, and I encourage you to go pick up a copy as soon as you’re done listening to this podcast.
During our recording session in mid-April, Kim and I caught up about her work on the book, her transition from heavy metal journalist to roving labor reporter, and her vision for the America’s labor future, informed as it is by her deep research on America’s labor past. In Fight Like Hell, Kim also wrote about the three-decade Coors boycott, drawing on the work of former Fingers interviewee Dr. Allyson Brantley, so naturally we talked about that too. It was a quick but delightful conversation that skewed just the tiniest bit nerdy. If you care about labor, history, or labor history, I bet you’ll enjoy it as much as I did.
Kim Kelly is an independent journalist in Philadelphia. Pick up a copy of her new book Fight Like Hell at The Fingers Reading Room, follow her coverage of the labor movement on Twitter and Instagram, and support her work on Patreon.
👀 More #content for further inquiry
Fight Like Hell: The Untold Story of American Labor (Atria/One Signal)
Everything You Need to Know About Capitalism (Teen Vogue)
Why Alabama Coal Miners Are Still on Strike (The Nation)
Amazon’s Most Egregious Illegal Action to Bust the Union Organizing Effort (More Perfect Union)
The Fingers Interview with Allyson Brantley, Ph.D., on the historic Coors boycott (Fingers)
What the Platform Beer Co. Walkout Means (and Doesn’t) for Collective Action in Craft Beer (VinePair)
Amazon's embarrassing union-busting website, annotated (Fingers)
Craft Beer’s Moral High Ground Doesn’t Apply to Its Workers (Splinter, RIP)