Revolt on Goose Island
The Chicago Factory Takeover and What It Says About the Economic Crisis
By Kari Lydersen
(Melville House, Paperback, 9781933633824, 176pp.)
Publication Date: June 30, 2009
List Price: $16.00*
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"There is much talk about 'audacity' these days, but true chutzpah is when the workers take over the factory and take on the bank. Kari Lydersen's invaluable account of the Republic sit-down strike is an instruction manual for worker dignity."
--Mike Davis, author of "Buda's Wagon "and "City of Quartz"
December 5, 2008: It wasn't supposed to work like this. Days after getting a $45 billion bailout from the U.S. government, Bank of America shut down a line of credit that kept Chicago's Republic Windows & Doors factory operating. The bosses, who knew what was coming, had been sneaking machinery out in the middle of the night. They closed the factory and sent the workers home.
Then something surprising happened: Republic's workers occupied the factory and refused to leave.
Kari Lydersen, an award-winning reporter, tells the story of the factory takeover, elegantly transforming the workers' story into a parable of labor activism for the twenty-first century, one that concludes with a surprising and little-reported victory.
Kari Lydersen is a staff writer at the Washington Post. She is the author of Out of the Sea and Into the Fire: Latin American-US Immigration in the Global Age and co-author, with Wafaa Bilal, of Shoot an Iraqi: Art, Life and Resistance Under the Gun, which was recently named a “Best Book of 2008” by Booklist.