The teachers strike wave of the last year and a half is the most important development in US working-class politics in decades. And nobody has covered that strike wave closer than Eric Blanc.
Eric has been Jacobin's man on the ground for most of these strikes, and he was there when they kicked off in West Virginia, then spread to Arizona and Oklahoma. (Since then, he's written many articles about strikes in Denver, Oakland, Los Angeles, Baton Rouge, and elsewhere.)
He wrote the "red-state" strike wave in a new book, Red State Revolt: The Teachers Strikes and Working-Class Politics, published by Verso as part of the Jacobin series. I can't recommend this book enough — it's one of the best labor books published in recent years in the United States, of interest both to rank-and-file workers looking to organize their workplaces but also anyone seeking to understand how and why these strikes came about.
This is the first of two Vast Majority episodes with Eric. This one talks about the role of the Bernie Sanders campaign in bringing together the strikers, the myth of the "red-state" voters and their willingness to go on strike, the role of social media in the strikes, why low wages aren't enough to kick off strikes, and more. The second episode, which will be out later this week, covers the role of a "militant minority" in organizing the strikes and consolidating the strikes' gains.