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Revolt on Goose Island

The Chicago Factory Takeover and What It Says About the Economic Crisis

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Paperback published by Melville House (Melville House)

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About This Book
Revised and updated, with a new afterword by the author

“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.


From the Trade Paperback edition.
Show less
Revised and updated, with a new afterword by the author

“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.


From the Trade Paperback edition.
Product Details
Paperback (176 pages)
Published: June 30, 2009
Publisher: Melville House
Imprint: Melville House
ISBN: 9781933633824
Other books byKari Lydersen
  • Shoot an Iraqi

    Shoot an Iraqi
    Art, Life and Resistance Under the Gun
    Wafaa Bilal’s childhood in Iraq was defined by the horrific rule of Saddam Hussein, two wars, a bloody uprising, and time spent interned in chaotic refugee camps in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. Bilal eventually made it to the United States to become a professor and a successful artist, but when his brother was killed at a checkpoint in Iraq in 2005, he decided to use his art to confront those in the comfort zone with the realities of life in a conflict zone. Thus the creation and staging of “Domestic Tension,” an unsettling interactive performance piece: for one month, Bilal lived alone in a prison cell-sized room in the line of fire of a remote-controlled paintball gun and a camera that connected him to Internet viewers around the world. Visitors to the gallery and a virtual audience that grew by the thousands could shoot at him twenty-four hours a day. The project received overwhelming worldwide attention, garnering the praise of the Chicago Tribune, which called it “one of the sharpest works of political art to be seen in a long time,” and Newsweek’s assessment “breath taking.” It spawned provocative online debates, and ultimately, Bilal was awarded the Chicago Tribune’s Artist of the Year Award. Structured in two parallel narratives, the story of Bilal’s life journey and his “Domestic Tension” experience, this first-person account is supplemented with comments on the history and current political situation in Iraq and the context of “Domestic Tension” within the art world, including interviews with art scholars such as Dean of the School of Art at Columbia University, Carol Becker, who also contributes the introduction. Shoot an Iraqi is equally pertinent reading for those who seek insight into the current conflict in Iraq and for those fascinated by interactive art technologies and the ever-expanding world of online gaming.

    Out of the Sea and into the Fire

    Out of the Sea and into the Fire
    Latin American-U. S. Immigration in the Global Age
    “Lydersen demonstrates that journalism still has the power to sway both hearts and minds.”—Brian Awehali,LiP Magazine “We need solid reporting from the Spanish-speaking world, and Lyderson delivers it with grace, intelligence and a vigorous point of view.”—Scott Sherman, contributing writer,The Nation. From the misty highlands of Chiapas or the idyllic coast of Honduras; to the harsh dry desert of the U.S.-Mexico border; to a frozen street corner in Chicago or a sweltering tomato field in Florida; these are the stories of Latin American migrants in the age of globalization. Kari Lydersenwrites for publications includingThe Washington Post,In These Times,Punk PlanetandLiP Magazineand is a youth journalism instructor.

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