Category: Blue-Collar Work

Book Review: Not Talking Union 

There is a certain irony when reviewing a book on the subject of unions and Mennonites. I would like to introduce you to Not Talking Union: An Oral History of North American Mennonites and Labour. This book is written by Janis Thiessen, an associate professor of history at the University of Winnipeg. Thiessen’s current research interests include the 20th century…

Book Review: Callings: The Purpose and Passion of Work

Story and metaphor are a powerful means for education on a variety of subjects, including faith & work. StoryCorps has published a book titled Callings: The Purpose and Passion of Work whose purpose is to tell the story of individuals at work. Callings is written by Dave Isay. Isay is the founder of StoryCorps and the recipient of numerous broadcasting…

Talking about Work: Studs Terkel Recordings Rediscovered

For all of the national conversations about a universal income, unemployment rates, the threat of automation, politicians’ promises for more jobs, etc., the daily experiences of individuals and their jobs can get lost. That’s one reason why Studs Terkel’s 40+ year-old interviews with American workers still resonate today. Terkel published his iconic book in 1974. It was called Working: People Talk…

Obsessed With Work or Just Bored? Bringing the Conversation About Work Across Acoma Street

It’s well past 1 p.m. From my desk I look across Acoma Street and see a woman in her early 20s wearing baggy sweat pants, a cigarette hanging out her mouth, tossing an empty Mountain Dew bottle in a dumpster that’s been parked in her driveway for months. She squints at the sun, as if it’s an unwelcome guest disturbing her slumber. Next…

Andy Crouch, What Does the Faith and Work Movement Need to Hear?

In early February, I probed the thoughts of Andy Crouch, author, blogger, and speaker. Crouch had just resigned as executive editor at Christianity Today and moved to the John Templeton Foundation as a communication strategist. His books and speaking engagements have made him a thought leader on culture, and connected him notably to the faith and work movement. I was…

‘Hillbilly Elegy’ and the faith & work movement

Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis  has been read and reviewed in countless outlets from Barnes and Noble to Hearts and Minds Books and the New York Times.  There’s a reason why. It’s a well-written memoir describing the circumstances, deep challenges, victories, and struggles of a culture in crisis. This culture has been neglected in popular media…