"Sleeping Giant: How the New Working Class Will Transform America"

Oct 6, 2016

On this edition of ST, we speak with Tamara Draut, who is Vice President of Policy and Research at Demos, a left-leaning national think tank. She's also the author of "Strapped: Why America's 20- and 30-Somethings Can't Get Ahead," and she joins to talk about her new book, which is called "Sleeping Giant: How the New Working Class Will Transform America." As was noted of "Sleeping Giant" by Kirkus Reviews: "A close examination of the plight of the working class, the decline of organized labor's political power, and the stirrings of activism that indicate change may be on the way. Draut...pulls no punches in her analysis. Asserting that 'the social contract of the New Deal is in tatters' and that 'the working class has had a boot on its neck for three decades,' she goes on to tell how that came about, who the responsible parties are, what that has meant to American society, and what can be done to create necessary changes. Draut defines working class as anyone in the labor force without a bachelor's degree. Because this group is more diverse -- i.e., black, Latino, and female -- than in the industrial era, it has been, she writes, easier to ignore. Interviews with workers in 'the bargain basement economy' provide a glimpse of their lives, and interviews with assorted activists in such movements as The Fight for $15 and Black Lives Matter show the latest strategies. The Republican Party and the once pro-union Democratic Party come in for some sharp jabs, as do America's cultural elites, its power brokers, and its news- and policy-makers for being too socially distant from the working class to see and understand what has been happening." Please note that Draut will be reading from this work, and signing copies of it, tonight (the 5th) at 7pm here in Tulsa. This event, co-presented by Book Smart Tulsa and the Oklahoma Policy Institute, will happen at the Woody Guthrie Center.