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Essays and Articles

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NYT: "Martin Luther King Jr.'s High-Stakes Gamble in Birmingham" a review of Paul Kix, You Have To Be Prepared to Die Before You Can Begin to Live.

"Democracy Over Freedom" Boston Review. This is part of a symposium on freedom, in which I argue that specific concerns about democracy are more important than vague concerns about freedom. 

"The Rebuilt Heart of Jason Isbell." This is a long form, interview/profile of the Nashville singer songwriter extraordinaire for NPR Music.

"Is Freedom White?" encapsulates some of the core arguments of the new book. It links the legacy of slavery to the development of freedom, and then explores how a racialized anti-statist politics develops to defend the freedom to dominate others from incursions of federal power. 

"The ‘Hard Hat Riot’ Was a Preview of Today’s Political Divisions,"

New York Times, 11 May 2020. Mayor Lindsay saw a country “virtually on the edge of a spiritual — and perhaps even a physical — breakdown.”

An op-ed with political scientist Mike Albertus titled "A Unity Slate to Save the Democrats--and the Republic" in The Hill in December 2019

"Red History, Blue Mood: Labor History and Solidarity in an Age of Fragmentation," came out in LABOR: Working Class Studies of the Americas. I wrote is both as a retrospective on the fortieth anniversary of the University of Illinois working-class history book series as well as broad reflection on the state of labor history and its politics since the 1970s. 

This new volume, Anti-democracy in America, is a collection of short pieces by an amazing array of scholars (from Wendy Brown to Richard Sennet to Saskia Sassen to William Julius Wilson to, well, me). My piece is called "The Right Kind of Citizenship," and explores the need for a kind of civic national vision for progressive thinkers and politics. 

This volume came out on (and sort of for) Springsteen's 70th birthday. Joel Dinerstein (Tulane) and I co-wrote a piece titled "The Role of the Popular Artist in a Democratic Society." The book is full of interesting writers and top drawer critics. It's called Long Walk Home

Stayin' Alive came out in an audio book. You can listen to it online at Audible or, better yet, support your local bookstore with

How Labor Scholars Missed the Trump Revolt, Chronicle of Higher Education,1 September 2017

The Right Type of Citizenship, Public Books, October 2017

What Trump Gets Wrong About NAFTA, Foreign Affairs, 4 May 2017

Taking Exception: A Dialogue with Jefferson Cowie, LABOR, May 2017

The Improbable Birth of American Rock Writing, Popmatters, March 2017

Donald Trump and History’s Competing Visions of America’s ‘Forgotten Man’, TIME Magazine, November 2016

America May Never Have Another New Deal, The New Republic, 15 March 2016


Great White Nope, Foreign Affairs, November-December 2016

Reframing the New Deal: The Past and Future of American Labor and the Law, Theoretical Inquiries in Law, February 2016

Why Are Economists So Small-Minded?, Chronicle of Higher Education, February 2016


Labor’s WTF Moment, POLITICO Magazine, February 2014


The Forty Hour Week: Bring it Back, New York Times, 3 February 2014


The Future of Fair Labor, New York Times, 25 June 2013


Love Song to the UAW, Dissent, 7 December 2012


Out of Control: Reagan, Labor, and the Fate of the Nation, Dissent, Winter 2012

Beyond Ohio: Why the Crisis of the Public Sector is Really in the Private Sector, The New Republic, 8 Nov 2011

Writing History in an Age of Inequality, History News Network, May 2011


Red White and Blue Collar, Democracy: A Journal of Ideas, Spring 2011


Are We Not Men? We Are Devo!, HNN, March 2011


We Can’t Go Home Again: Why the New Deal Won’t be Renewed, New Labor Forum, 25 January 2011


The Ghost of Full Employment, The American Prospect, 28 September 2010


That 70’s Feeling, New York Times,5 September 2010


On Lecturing in a Prison, Where Minds Are Free, The Chronicle Review, 21 February 2010


What is Socialism in 2009?, New York Times, 14 September 2009

Looking Beyond Our Own Bums, Cornell Daily Sun, 5 March 2009

The Long Exception: Rethinking the Place of the New in American History, ILWCH, Fall 2008

Talkin ‘bout Their Generation, Inside Higher Ed, 23 October 2007

Dead Man’s Town: ‘Born in the USA,’ Social History, and Working-Class Identity (with Lauren Boehm), American Quarterly, June 2006

A Liberal’s Heartland Lament, Chicago Tribune Books, 27 June 2004


The Intellectual as Fan, Reviews in American History, June 2004


Death in the Desert, Chicago Tribune, 3 April 2004


Pickup Line, The American Prospect, 7 November 2003


A One-Sided Class War’: Rethinking Doug Frasers’ 1978 Resignation from the Labor-Management Group, Labor History 2003


The Meanings of Deindustrialization (with Joseph Heathcott) in Beyond the Ruins: The Meanings of Deindustrialization (Ithaca: Cornell University Press 2003)

Solidarity Strikes Out,The American Prospect, January 3, 2002

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