ISBN: 9781933392639 Year Added to Catalog: 2007 Book Format: Hardcover Book Art: Black and White Photos Dimensions: 6 x 9 Number of Pages: 544 Book Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing Release Date: November 15, 2007 Web Product ID: 377
"A formidable labor organizer and longtime leader of the Oil, Chemical and Atomic Workers Union, Mazzocchi (1926-2002), had an exceptional career that belies much received wisdom about American labor after WWII. In prose that unabashedly reflects the upbeat, streetwise world view of its subject, Mazzocchi's friend and associate Leopold shows how Mazzocchi's earliest experiences--from a Bensonhurst childhood among a politically engaged Italian-American working-class family, to underage entry into WWII as an army grunt--informed his shrewd strategies for a militant labor agenda from the 1950s onward. That agenda embraced civil rights, anti-nuclear testing, antiwar and environmental causes, often years ahead of the liberal mainstream, while deftly negotiating such obstacles as employer antagonism, Cold War red-baiting, mob racketeering, union corruption and government intrigue. Balancing a wealth of firsthand interviews with astute judgments, Leopold delivers a vivid picture of Mazzocchi as a practical visionary whose milestones include passage of 1970's Occupational Safety and Health Act. Those undeterred by a sometimes earthy and partisan tone will find a wealth of practical lessons as well as an excellent introduction to American left and labor history."
—Publishers Weekly, 10/1/07 (starred review)
"[M]eticulously researched. . . Leopold's biography presents Mazzocchi warts and all, and through him a picture of the labor movement during an era of increasing corporate hostility and diminishing government protection of the right to unionize."
—Robert Kuttner, The American Prospect
"Tony Mazzocchi expressed the highest purposes of the labor movement. He constantly reminded us why we needed to build a broad social movement to bring justice and equality to our society--a movement that could unite unions, environmentalists, and social justice organizations in the global struggle to tame corporate power. His commitment to single-payer health care and free higher education for all continues to inspire our work today. We hope his story will help fuel a new generation of movement activists."
—Richard Trumka, Secretary-Treasurer of the AFL-CIO
"Les Leopold has vividly brought to life an extraordinary man--an incorruptible fighter for the rights of labor--an historic figure who should never be forgotten. Whether leading the charge for the Occupational Safety and Health Act, protecting workers from toxic exposures, traveling the country to argue for health insurance, testifying before Congress, or inspiring a generation of student activists, Mazzocchi's fiery passion for social and economic justice was revealed in every action he took. And in Leopold he has found an equally passionate and dedicated biographer. This is an important work in the annals of labor history."
—Doris Kearns Goodwin, Pulitzer Prize-winning historian
"Tony Mazzocchi was one of the most visionary trade unionists in America. He wrote the book on building alliances between workers and environmentalists."
—Leo Gerard, President of the United Steelworkers of America
"I just finished reading Les Leopold's biography of Tony Mazzocchi, The Man Who Hated Work and Loved Labor. I finished it in about a day. It's that kind of a read, an old-fashioned page turner for anyone interested in the working class and the history of the labor movement in the United States."
—Jon Flanders, Monthly Review (January 2008)
"Tony Mazzocchi hated work. Don't get me wrong. He was the hardest working labor leader I've ever met. The work he hated was the coerced, soul-numbing labor performed by untold millions in factories, offices and other hierarchical workplaces. Not only did most workers have their spirits crushed and their humanity demeaned on a daily basis, they were also routinely and knowingly exposed to toxic substances and hazardous conditions.... Les Leopold captures this sensibility and places it in a historical context in an important new biography on Mazzocchi's life."
—Mark Dudzic, Labor Notes (December 2007)
"Leopold's admiring biography shows Mazzocchi as that rare radical who escaped the Red Scare and continued through old age to weave together leftist politics and strong unionism with the goal of improving life for all Americans. Highly recommended for medium to large public libraries and all academic libraries."
"Tony Mazzocchi formed my understanding of the fundamental relationship between work and our environment. He always reminded me, 'Carl, companies don't eliminate jobs because of environmental standards. They fight environmental standards so they can degrade and eliminate jobs. It's a skilled, motivated workforce they want to get away from, not clean air and clean water. Workers are the environment's first line of defense."
—Carl Pope, executive director of the Sierra Club
"The Man Who Hated Work and Loved Labor crackles with life--and it's hard to imagine a life better spent than Tony Mazzocchi's. He was a friend and an inspiration to me, as he will be to anyone who reads this riveting biography."
—Barbara Ehrenreich, author of Nickel and Dimed
"Tony Mazzocchi is one of the unsung, unnoticed heroes of the American working class, and Les Leopold's biography gives us the gift of his extraordinary life--from the battlefields of World War II to the present-day struggle for workers' rights. In that struggle, Tony Mazzocchi was brilliant, bold, imaginative, and fearless. He loved life, food, fun, and children, and I believe his story can inspire a new generation of activists to work for peace and economic justice."
—Howard Zinn, author of A People's History of the United States