At the opening of the 21st century, trade unions in the United States continue to weaken. A smaller percentage of workers are members than at any time since the 1920s. Meanwhile, labor officials finagle mergers to maintain their dues base and pour tens of millions into electing to public office one or another of the candidates of employers' imperialist parties, thus further weakening the labor movement.
But militant workers resisting employer assaults have begun relearning what a strike is - how a strike is fought, how to reach out for solidarity and extend it to others, how a strike can be won. Through involvement in such struggles, they become more interested in ideas about how the entire system of exploitation, oppression, and disrespect facing working people can be changed. They start reading more braodly, including books, pamphlets, and newspapers suggested by fellow union fighters who they've come to trust and who are experienced in political activity in the interests of the working class. They become open to bolder perspectives.
For workers such as these, and youth attracted to their struggles, the "food for thought" in this book - the work of revolutionary leaders from three different generations of the modern working-class movement - will become an invaluable part of their practical education.