The Traffic Controllers
And the strike that Changed America
By Joseph A. McCartin
By Richard Edward Noble
I would guess that this is the most definitive history of the Traffic Controllers’ Strike yet to be written. Knowing what I know of American Labor History, it will probably be the only History of the Traffic Controllers’ Strike of 1981 that will ever be written.
I commend Mr. Joseph A. McCartin for performing this thankless and laborious task. Since I have become somewhat of a Labor history buff in recent years, this book will be added to my reference library along side the many others that I have been collecting for the last several years.
The history of American Labor problems in America is extremely limited and information difficult to find. The Reagan administration’s discontinuance of government statistical strike data will guarantee the difficulty of that task in future years.
I wrote my own book on the subject. It is entitled “America on Strike” and it is a survey of many prominent Labor strikes throughout American History. It begins in the Colonial period and ends with Ronald Reagan and the Traffic Controllers’ Strike. I ended my book with the Traffic Controllers’ Strike because like this author I figured it to be a big historical confrontation and devastating to the American Labor Movement.
My synopsis of the strike is a mere five pages long. I couldn’t find very much information on the Controllers’ Strike when I was putting my book together so when I saw this book, I jumped on it.
The author covers the formation of the PATCO union or association from its start in 1968 until it disintegration in 1981.
The book is thorough and informative. It is written from an inside the union perspective as opposed to an inside the Reagan administration perspective.
I couldn’t have asked for a more in depth analysis.
The history of the union and its leaders is covered intimately while all the while a focus is kept on the big confrontation with Ronald Reagan and his radical rightwing cohorts.
I will restrain myself from criticizing or picking arguments with the author other than to say, I feel he was a bit too kind and overly understanding of President Reagan and his administration.
That the president was hypocritical in his position against PATCO I consider a given.
That the goal of his administration was union busting is also a given. It is the confirmed historical position of the Republican Party and it cannot be denied in my opinion.
That the union was justified in all of its early positions is and has been substantiated.
The fact that the scabs who replaced the 15,000 fired workers no sooner got settled in than they formed their own union and petitioned the government with the exact same complaints the leaders of the PATCO union had presented, says it all.
Like his hero, Calvin Coolidge, the Reagan administration acted politically and not for the interest of his country. Coolidge and Reagan both benefited from their immoral political shenanigans quite favorably while the country suffered immensely – especially so with the Reagan fiasco.
Reagan used taxpayer dollars to fight tax paying workers in this flagrant union busting action. This cost the American people not just millions … but billions.
His use of replacement scab labor revived a horror from the past that if pursued by the Controllers in the traditional labor management format could have resulted in the loss of many lives.
An historical “gentleman’s” agreement had been set in place with regards to this issue. Reagan, in defying this understanding proved himself to be no gentleman and opened a kettle of worms that could and may ignite still glowing embers of acute bitterness in the historical oven of a seriously violent past. Be forewarned, this could mean the start of something BAD.
The Boston Police strike and President Coolidge’s stand remain a national historical disgrace.
Reagan and his posturing will be added to that historical disgrace, I have no doubt.
So other than the author somewhat leaning over backward in his analysis of the Reagan administration, I enjoyed the book immensely.
Mr. McCartin’s analysis on what could have been done by the union to possibly guarantee a successful outcome is thought provoking, thorough and should be read by all union activists and organizers still pursuing that difficult and heroic task today.
This is a very well written and extremely informative Labor history book. I highly recommend it.
Books by Richard Edward Noble. Click on covers below for more info and purchasing instructions.
Classic Tragic Novel
Bloggin' Be My Life
"Bloggin' be My Life" contains a selection of some of my more popular Hobo Philosopher blogs.If you enjoy reading this blog, you should love Bloggin' Be My Life.
It's All About Love
It's All About Love is ... all about love. This is the 2nd book of poetry from The Bard From Chelmsford off Arlington. Every poem in this book comes with a prose introduction. If you enjoy poetry this is a simple choice. Have fun!
A Little Something
Traditional poetry from The Bard From Chelmsford Off Arlington with some poignant prose introductions. If you enjoy any type of poetry, you will enjoy this volume. Thanks.
Bits and Pieces
The Hobo Philosopher - My first book using the Hobo Philosopher brand. Featuring a variety of writing styles and ideas. Look for the Thoughtful Hobo on the cover.
A Baker's Dozen
The Hobo Philosopher: My Second book of Fiction, Creative Non-Fiction and Short Stories. All varieties of short stories - lots of laughs!
Cat Point - and Them Dang Oyster People
Cat Point is the sequel to "The Eastpointer." Both books contain humorous tales about life in a fishing community on the Florida Panhandle. Lots of laughs.
Won 1st Place award for humor in 2007 from Florida Press Association. More wit, wisdom and humor from the yet to be world famous author, R.E. Noble
A Summer with Charlie - Lawrence
Fiction - Salisbury Beach, Lawrence, Mass. Featured in Merrimack Valley Magazine July /Aug. issue 2010
Travel, Humor, Commentary on migrant farm work and illegal immigration still very pertinent today.
"Just Hangin' Out Ma"
Thank God for the Street Corners of Lawrence, Mass. Anecdotes and humorous escapades about growing up in an industrial mill town in the 40s,50s and 60s.
This is the sequel to "Just Hangin' Out, Ma"
That Old Gang of Mine
This is # 3 in my Lawrence Hometown series. The series is about growing up in the 40's, 50's and 60's in an industrial mill town. Sorta like a Huck Finn goes to vist Uncle Ralph, the bus driver, who lives in a big, rundown city. Lots of fun.
Honor Thy Father and Thy Mother
Classic tragic novel written from child's perspective. Deals with abuse, poverty, unemployment. Pulls no punches.
Noble Notes on Famous Folks
Humorous, satirical notes on everybody from Constantine to Bill Clinton. Inspiration: Willy Cuppy.
America on Strike
History - documented survey of labor strikes in America
Mein Kampf - An Analysis of Book One
Who are the American Nazis - the Liberals or the Conservatives?
MY NAME IS RICHARD EDWARD NOBLE. I AM A FREELANCE WRITER AND I HAVE PUBLISHED 12 BOOKS:"THE EASTPOINTER" - SELECTIONS FROM AWARD WINNING NEWSPAPER COLUMN - "A LITTLE SOMETHING" - POETRY WITH PROSE -"HONOR THY FATHER AND THY MOTHER" - A NOVEL ABOUT GROWING UP IN THE NEW ENGLAND MILL TOWN OF LAWRENCE, MASS, "HOBO-ING AMERICA" - A WORKINGMAN'S TOUR OF THE U.S.A. - "A SUMMER WITH CHARLIE" - THE STORY OF A YOUNG SAILOR'S LAST DAYS AT SALISBURY BEACH, "NOBLE NOTES ON FAMOUS FOLKS" - HUMOROUS ANECDOTES ON FAMOUS FOLKS IN HISTORY,
"AMERICA ON STRIKE" HISTORY BOOK - A SURVEY OF LABOR STRIKES IN AMERICA; "A BAKER'S DOZEN" A BOOK OF HUMOROUS SHORT STORIES; "JUST HANGIN' OUT, MA" - GROWING UP IN THE 40'S, 50'S AND 60'S IN LAWRENCE, MY HOMETOWN, "TENEMENT DWELLERS" - SEQUEL TO JUST HANGIN OUT, MA; MEIN KAMPF - ANALYSIS OF BOOK ONE - HISTORY. CAT POINT - AND THEM DANG OYSTER PEOPLE - SEQUEL TO THE EASTPOINTER
All 12 BOOKS ARE AVAILABLE ON AMAZON.COM, BARNES AND NOBLE AND OTHER INTERNET SOURCES OR FROM NOBLE PUBLISHING. ALL 12 OF MY BOOKS ARE NOW ON KINDLE AT BARGAIN PRICES TOO. IF YOU WOULD LIKE MORE INFORMATION ABOUT DISCOUNTS AND SPECIAL OFFERS E-MAIL ME. MY EMAIL IS ON MY PROFILE PAGE.