The Big Squeeze
Tough Times for the American Worker
By Steven Greenhouse
Anchor Books, Paperback, 9781400096527, 365pp.
Publication Date: February 10, 2009
List Price: $16.00*
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Why, in the world's most affluent nation, are so many corporations squeezing their employees dry? In this fresh, carefully researched book, New York Times reporter Steven Greenhouse explores the economic, political, and social trends that are transforming America's workplaces, including the decline of the social contract that created the world's largest middle class and guaranteed job security and good pensions. We meet all kinds of workers—white-collar and blue-collar, high-tech and low-tech, middle-class and low-income—as we see shocking examples of injustice, including employees who are locked in during a hurricane or fired after suffering debilitating, on-the-job injuries.
With pragmatic recommendations on what government, business and labor should do to alleviate the economic crunch, The Big Squeeze is a balanced, consistently revealing look at a major American crisis.
“Steve Greenhouse has written the essential economic book for 2008. Long before most analysts noticed the downturn, Greenhouse was reporting how troubled our economy looked from the bottom-up. A hugely talented reporter with a passion for justice, a shrewd student of the new economy and a brilliant guide to the contemporary labor movement, Greehouse writes with clarity, energy and grace.”—E. J. Dionne Jr. "Steven Greenhouse's brilliant and vividly reported exposé shows how employers have been squeezing the life out of American workers, through means both legal and illegal. My blood boiled when I read The Big Squeeze. Any presidential candidate–or voter–who overlooks this book will be clueless about what's really going on in America."—Barbara Ehrenreich"In this shocking and important book, Steven Greenhouse explains–and tells the stories–of how U.S. workers are paying the price for the lower labor standards and wages that are the result of poorly-managed globalization."—Joseph E. Stiglitz“Excellent and relentless . . . Greenhouse’s book gives a convincing portrait of a business culture that has been more and more aggressive toward workers.”—Jeff Madrick, New York Review of Books“An excellent book . . . Greenhouse exhibits outrage and moral indignation and an idealism one doesn’t necessarily expect from a hard-bitten New York Times reporter.”—The Washington Monthly“Important and infuriating.”—Chicago Tribune“Riveting . . . a sobering examination of a growing American crisis, and . . . nothing short of brilliant.”—Tucson Citizen“New York Times labor correspondent Greenhouse drops a bombshell on local bookstores . . . Greenhouse’s clear and level prose is investigative journalism at its finest.”—Rocky Mountain News“Greenhouse’s The Big Squeeze is a fresh, probing look at the critical issues facing both blue- and white-collar American workers . . . The Big Squeeze will be an eye-opener for many. Don’t miss it.”—Providence Journal-Bulletin“The power of Greenhouse’s book lies . . . in its reporting, especially on low-wage workers . . . his best material vividly focuses on the always difficult and often abusive working conditions of low-paid employees. Such stories get far too little airing and rarely are they so well told.”—Business Week“Greenhouse paints a wrenching protrait of decent people who, by no fault of their own, have been fired, demoted, downsized, displaced, abandoned . . . Greenhouse’s picture should unnerve anyone committed to a stable future for American democracy.”—Patrick J. Deneen, American Conservative“[Greenhouse’s] reporting skills serve his book’s readers well.”—Washington Post “A book . . . that will confirm your worst suspicions and fears, open your eyes and turn your stomach.”—The Buffalo News“Greenhouse has mastered labor market economics in a way few journalists do . . . his profiles are . . . rich in evoking sympathy and understanding for workers who struggle to both adapt and resist . . . The Big Squeeze becomes the one essential book on today’s American workplace.”—Jack Metzgar, Dissent