Which Side Are You On?

Trying to Be for Labor When It’s Flat on Its Back

The comic, poignant, one-of-a-kind book that “reads like an enthralling novel” (Studs Terkel)

Which Side Are You On? is one of the finest nonfiction books by a contemporary author I’ve ever read. It’s incredibly informative . . . and often laugh-out-loud funny. A delightful book about the labor movement: it sounds like an oxymoron, but in Geoghegan’s case it’s an accomplishment.” —Hendrik Hertzberg, NewYorker.com

Nominated, National Book Critics' Circle Award for General Nonfiction

In this paperback reissue of his widely acclaimed, National Book Critics Circle Award–nominated book, Thomas Geoghegan has updated his eloquent plea for the relevance of organized labor in America with an afterword covering the labor movement through the 1990s.

Funny, sharp, and unsentimental, Which Side Are You On? is both a compelling history of the rise and near-fall of labor in the United States and an idealist’s disgruntled exercise in self-evaluation. Called both “an intellectual and political coming-of-age story” by the Chicago Sun-Times, it is the ideal book for anyone who has ever woken up and realized, “I must change my life.”

Praise

“Inspiring. . . . I would press these pages into the hands of anyone wondering what to do in life.”
—Paul Berman, The New York Times Book Review
“A classic. . . . Geoghegan knows how to write with verve, intelligence, charm, and power.”
The Nation
“A wry, important work.”
Los Angeles Times
“Quirky, brilliant. . . . Inspiring . . . unparalleled in the literature of American labor. . . . I would press these pages into the hands of anyone wondering what to do in life.”
The New York Times
Which Side Are You On? is one of the finest nonfiction books by a contemporary author I’ve ever read. It’s incredibly informative . . . and often laugh–out–loud funny. A delightful book about the labor movement: it sounds like an oxymoron, but in Geoghegan’s case it’s an accomplishment.”
—Hendrik Hertzberg, The New Yorker
“So skillfully written, so witty—and so scathing—that it seems bound to grip even those who find the labor movement boring.”
BusinessWeek
“A brilliant book full of passion and idealism and bitterness.”
The Washington Post
“Imagine a Scott Fitzgerald who cares about Studs Lonigans; that’s Geoghegan.”
—John Leonard, Newsday

Books by Thomas Geoghegan

Were You Born on the Wrong Continent?
How the European Model Can Help You Get a Life

Thomas Geoghegan

Only One Thing Can Save Us
Why America Needs a New Kind of Labor Movement

Thomas Geoghegan

In America’s Court
How a Civil Lawyer Who Likes to Settle Stumbled into a Criminal Trial

Thomas Geoghegan

See You in Court
How the Right Made America a Lawsuit Nation

Thomas Geoghegan