The Department of Labor (DOL) under its "Books that Shaped Work in America" initiative recently released a list of notable works pertaining to labor in commemoration of the DOL's 100th Anniversary:
In honor of its Centennial this year, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) — in partnership with the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress — is developing a list of Books that Shaped Work in America.
The idea for this list derived from the Books that Shaped America exhibition sponsored by the Library of Congress in 2012. This exhibition endeavored to spark a national conversation about the impact of books on overall American life and culture. Not surprisingly, many of the books included in the exhibition address issues related to work. But it was the wide range of books with work as a central theme that really served to underscore the significant role published works have played in shaping American workers and workplaces.
DOL's 100th anniversary presents an opportune time to further explore and discuss the relationship between books and work through the development of a list of Books that Shaped Work in America. To help get started, a diverse cross-section of individuals, including several former Secretaries of Labor, have shared their suggestions. But we need your assistance too! Please recommend a book you feel should be on the list.
Of course, the list of Books that Shaped Work in America is, and always will be, a work in progress, since — like America itself — work is constantly changing and evolving.
As the Daily Caller discovered—perhaps not coincidentally given that contributors to the list included Obama Labor Secretary Thomas Perez, former Obama Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, and former Clinton Labor Secretary Robert Reich, among others—there were a handful of books on the list that were (surprise of all surprises) written by avowed Socialists or Communists.
The DC notes: "A Socialist leader, two Stalin apologists, two blacklisted ’50s screenwriters, and a suspected Marxist are included on the list," with titles including Industrial Democracy written by Sidney and Beatrice Webb, who were "supporters of the Communist economic experiment and are known in academia as apologists for Josef Stalin," and The Other America written by Michael Harrington "an open Socialist and co-chairman of the Democratic Socialists of America."
Perhaps the real shocker of the story is that books including Anthem by Ayn Rand and Economics in One Lesson by Henry Hazlitt were also recommended, since contributions were surprisingly solicited from some right-leaning folks including for example former George W. Bush Labor Secretary Elaine Chao and former Secretary of Labor, Director of OMB, Secretary of Treasury and Secretary of State under various Republican administrations, George Schultz.
Be sure to check out the full list.