Deeply personal, astutely political, Fighting Times: Organizing on the Front Lines of the Class War
recounts the thirteen-year journey of Jonathan Melrod to harness
working-class militancy and jump start a revolution on the shop floor of
American Motors. Melrod faces termination, dodges the FBI, outwits
collaborators in the UAW, and becomes the central figure in a lawsuit
against the labor newsletter Fighting Times, as he strives to build a class-conscious workers' movement from the bottom up.
A radical to the core, Melrod was a key part of campus insurrection
at University of Wisconsin-Madison. He left campus for the factory in
1973, hired along with hundreds of youthful job seekers onto the
mind-numbing assembly line. Fighting Times paints a portrait of these rebellious and alienated young hires, many of whom were Black Vietnam vets.
Containing dozens of archival photographs, Fighting Times
captures the journey of a militant antiracist revolutionary who rose to
the highest elected ranks of his UAW local without compromising his
politics or his dedication to building a class-conscious workers'
movement. The book will arm and inspire a new generation of labor
organizers with the skills and attitude to challenge the odds and fight
the egregious abuses of the exploitative capitalist system.