Mari Jo and Paul Buhle on the 2011 labor demonstrations in Madison, Wisconsin

January 15, 2012
 

In the spring of 2011, Wisconsinites took to the streets in what became the largest and liveliest labor demonstrations in modern American history. Protesters in the Middle East sent greetings-and pizzas-to the thousands occupying the Capitol building in Madison, and 150,000 demonstrators converged on the city.

In a year that has seen a revival of protest in America, here is a riveting account of the first great wave of grassroots resistance to the corporate restructuring of the Great Recession.

It Started in Wisconsin includes eyewitness reports by striking teachers, students, and others (such as Wisconsin-born musician Tom Morello), as well as essays explaining Wisconsin's progressive legacy by acclaimed historians. The book lays bare the national corporate campaign that crafted Wisconsin's anti-union legislation and similar laws across the country, and it conveys the infectious esprit de corps that pervaded the protests with original pictures and comics.

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