A Celebration of Work

Norman Best, Author, William G. Robbins, Editor
Norman Best, Author, William G. Robbins, Editor University of Nebraska Press $50 (241p) ISBN 978-0-8032-1212-1
Reviewed on: 03/01/1990
Release date: 03/01/1990
This unusual autobiography, edited by a historian at Oregon State University, chronicles the career of a man employed in blue-collar work for almost half a century, dating from his first full-time job in 1922. It is not the density of detail supplied on Best's labors in highway construction and the like that lend the book its special flavor; rather, his philosophy of economic democracy, rooted in Jeffersonian principles and Judeo-Christian ethics, gives his voice its unique tone. A social activist, Best involved himself in union organizing and was a member of the Communist Party in the 1930s and '40s. Yet, as he surveys the American scene today, he is dismayed to find the number of family farms dwindling under economic pressures and unions transformed into servants of multinational megacorporations. Nonetheless, Best urges the U.S. to reform, to become a people-driven, not a profit-hungry society. Photos. (May)
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