Vonnegut's Labor of Literature

 By Matthew Gannon and Wilson Taylor

The Vonnegut Review is pleased to announce a collaboration with Jacobin Magazine for a special essay for Labor Day. We have written a piece about the untold history of Labor Day as well as literature's role in re-imagining history and politics. We ask: can literature be a force in the fight for economic justice? What is Vonnegut's role in the history of America's storied labor movement? Here is the first paragraph of our essay:
There can be no doubt that Labor Day is a lapsed holiday in America. It was a once proud tradition celebrating, as the US Department of Labor website puts it, “the social and economic achievements of American workers,” and a “national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.” From its roots in the 19th century, it has, by the 21st century, become an opportunity for barbecues, a much-needed   three-day weekend, and a convenient capstone to the summer season.