Jun 17, 2014
I first met Barbara Garson while researching the GI coffeehouse movement of the 1960s and 1970s, which aimed to open antiwar, counterculture coffeehouses in small towns outside military bases, as part of a larger movement to end the war in Vietnam. Barbara's time spent working at such a coffeehouse in Tacoma, Washington was one part of a long career of writing and activism. Her controversial play MacBird!, a satire of the Lyndon Johnson administration and the Kennedy family, was an off-Broadway hit in 1967. Over the following decades, she has published a series of books focusing on American labor (All the Livelong Day: The Meaning and Demeaning of Routine Work), the economic landscape (The Electronic Sweatshop: How Computers are Transforming the Office of the Future), and most recently, the social consequences of capitalism (Down the Up Escalator: How the 99 Percent Live). She joins me here to discuss her personal political development and the ideas driving her work.