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Cambridge University Press
Online publication date:
April 2020
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Book description

For years now, unionization has been under vigorous attack. Membership has been steadily declining, and with it union bargaining power. As a result, unions may soon lose their ability to protect workers from economic and personal abuse, as well as their significance as a political force. In the Name of Liberty responds to this worrying state of affairs by presenting a new argument for unionization, one that derives an argument for universal unionization in both the private and public sector from concepts of liberty that we already accept. In short, In the Name of Liberty reclaims the argument for liberty from the political right, and shows how liberty not only requires the unionization of every workplace as a matter of background justice, but also supports a wide variety of other progressive policies.


'With my years of experience fighting back against greedy, corporate bosses, I can definitely say that Mark Reiff’s In the Name of Liberty meticulously makes the case for the unionization of workers. Collective bargaining rights are the only real vehicle for the economic security of working families, and unions are the mechanism through which workers get their fair share of America’s wealth.'

John Samuelsen - International President, Transport Workers Union of America, AFL-CIO

'Mark R. Reiff performs an astonishing intellectual feat in this deeply researched, incisively reasoned, and passionately argued volume. He deftly demolishes the claims of those who critique unions for infringing individual liberty; then he elegantly constructs in their place not only a powerful liberty-based argument for unionization, but for universal unionization. His persuasive contention that strong unions are a prerequisite for the preservation of true liberty within twenty-first century capitalism demands the attention of anyone who cares about the intertwined fates of workers’ rights and democracy.'

Joseph A. McCartin - Georgetown University

'Countless black, brown, and white working people are standing together to win Unions for All: the power to join together in unions to fight for the security and independence that makes true freedom possible. This book is a powerful argument for how solidarity creates the freedom we want for our families.'

Mary Kay Henry - International President, Service Employees International Union

‘… richly documented and tightly argued manifesto … Recommended.’

J. Bekken Source: Choice Magazine

‘… a good starting point for tracing out … his case for universal unionization is a most welcome contribution when the existing labor-relations model in the United States seems broken, and work is undergoing a profound transformation.’

John Medearis Source: Perspectives on Politics

‘Reiff’s book provides welcome relief for political philosophers who have been kept waiting for a proper treatment of this important topic. Further discussion of unions, and related issues of labour market justice, will be immensely enriched by Reiff’s important contribution.’

Daniel Halliday Source: Law and Philosophy

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