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Book Event: Living and Dying on the Factory Floor

September 10, 2019 @ 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

Co-sponsored by the Institute for Policy Studies and the Economic Policy Institute. 

Moderated by Sarita Gupta, former Executive Director of Jobs With Justice and Co-Founder of Caring Across Generations.

David Ranney’s vivid memoir describes his experiences between 1976 and 1982 in the factories of southeast Chicago and northwest Indiana. 

Ranney worked in a machine shop, a shortening factory, a railroad car factory, a structural steel shop, a box factory, a chemical plant, and a paper cup factory. Along the way there is a wildcat strike, an immigration raid, shop-floor actions protesting supervisor abuses, serious injuries, a failed effort to unionize, and a murder. Ranney’s emphasis is on race and class relations, working conditions, environmental issues, and broader social issues in the 1970s that impacted the shop floor.

Forty years later, Ranney returns to Chicago’s South Side to reveal what happened to the communities, buildings, and the companies that had inhabited them. Living and Dying on the Factory Floor concludes with discussions on the nature of work; racism, race, and class; the use of immigration policy for social control; and our ability to create a just society.

About the Author:
David Ranney is professor emeritus in the College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs at the University of Illinois Chicago. Ranney has also been a factory worker, a labor and community organizer, and an activist academic. He is the author of four books and more than 100 journal articles, book chapters, and monographs on issues of employment, labor and community organizing, and U.S. trade policy. His two most recent books are Global Decisions, Local Collisions: Urban Life in the New World Order and New World Disorder: The Decline of U.S. Power


September 10, 2019
4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
Event Category:


Institute for Policy Studies
1301 Connecticut Avenue, NW, 6th Floor
Washington, DC 20036
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