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Specter of the Beatitudes

Workers’ Tales:  Socialist Fairy Tales, Fables, and Allegories from Great Britain edited by michael rosen princeton, 328 pages, $19.95 When I was a girl, I had a picture book, The Day the Fairies Went on Strike. This 1981 confection by Linda Briskin and Maureen FitzGerald, with . . . . Continue Reading »

Back to Work

In 1974, the year I turned nineteen, I took my first real job in the goods store of a railway station in County Mayo, in the west of Ireland. I was pleased to be off my parents’ hands, but uneasy in my position. The tiny goods office was an anthill of activity, with a constant flow of locomotive . . . . Continue Reading »

America Needs Work

Last December, with a push from President-elect Donald Trump, Carrier Corporation decided to retain around eight hundred jobs in Indiana that it had slated to shift to Mexico. Commentators from George Will to James Pethokoukis and the Wall Street Journal criticized the episode as a violation of . . . . Continue Reading »

Meaningful Work

Although it is sometimes forgotten that a worthy human life can be lived by those who do not work, or do not work for pay, it is still true that work is one of the most fundamental of human experiences. Necessary for human existence, it is also an activity in which we struggle to find meaning and . . . . Continue Reading »

Poverty and Morality

The Undeserving Poor: From the War on Poverty to the War on Welfare by michael b. katz pantheon books, 293 pages, $22.95  In The Undeserving Poor, there are two Michael Katzes on view, the historian and the social commentator, and the former is much the more persuasive. Katz, who teaches . . . . Continue Reading »

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