Steve Striffler and I were each hired as assistant professors at the University of Arkansas in the spring of 1999, Steve in anthropology, and I in history. By the time I arrived in Fayetteville, two weeks before the start of classes in August of that year, Steve was already leading a job action by faculty, staff, and graduate assistants, protesting against recent antilabor measures taken by university administration. He showed immediately that he did not hesitate to put his money where his mouth is — a commitment further revealed by his subsequent work on the line in a chicken processing plant as he prepared to write Chicken: The Dangerous Transformation of America’s Favorite Food (2007).

Striffler’s history of the US Left’s initiatives toward solidarity with exploited workers in Latin America over the past fifty years comes from this commitment, and is both a dispassionate scholarly study and a clear-eyed assessment...

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