Live Working or Die Fighting

How The Working Class Went Global

Paul Mason

  • Vintage
  • Published 7th February 2008
  • 320 Pages
  • 129mm x 198mm x 20mm
  • 226g

Globalisation has created a whole new working class - and they are reliving stories that were first played out a century ago. In Live Working or Die Fighting, Paul Mason tells the story of this new working class alongside the epic history of the global labour movement, from its formation in the factories of the 1800s through its near destruction by fascism in the 1930s and up to today's anti-globalisation movement.

Blending exhilarating historical narrative with reportage from today's front line, he links the lives of 19th-century factory girls with the lives of teenagers in a giant Chinese mobile phone factory; he tells the story of how mass trade unions were born in London's Docklands - and how they're being reinvented by the migrant cleaners in skyscrapers that stand on the very same spot.

It is a story of urban slums, self-help co-operatives, choirs and brass bands, free love and self-education by candlelight. And, as the author shows, in the developing industrial economies of the world it is still with us. Live Working or Die Fighting celebrates a common history of defiance, idealism and self-sacrifice, one as alive and active today as it was two hundred years ago. It is a unique and inspirational book.