Ricky Baldwin

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Location URBANA, Illinois, United States
Introduction My father was the first in his family to finish high school, maybe the first to attend. He worked in a truck stop when my parents got married. My mother quit college and went to work in a factory, but she got "laid off" for taking co-worker who collapsed on the job to the hospital. My dad died when I was 4. We lived in a trailer after that. When I was old enough, I washed dishes, worked on a railroad, in factories, and went to college before I went to work in the labor movement. Long story short, I grew up in the foothills of the Appalachians in NE Mississippi, with double-digit unemployment. At the time it was the insurance fraud capital of the US, and the number one industry was car theft and chop shops. But when the feds decided we needed a nuclear power plant, we got ourselves together and fought it off. They tried not to listen to us hillbillies, and they built the plant. You can still see the cooling towers over the tree tops. It was built, but never operated, not even one single day. We beat them. That was round one, for me, growing up.
Favorite Books Regulating the Poor (Piven & Cloward), People's History of the US (Zinn), Pirates and Emperors (Noam Chomsky), Poor People's Movements (Piven & Cloward), Why Americans Don't Vote (Piven & Cloward), Mutual Aid (Kropotkin), Why Americans Still Don't Vote (Piven & Cloward), King Leopold's Ghost (Hochschild), The Shadow of the Sun (Kapuscinski), A History of the Arab People (Hourani), Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World, The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Hugo), Don Quixote (Cervantes)