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Book Talk: Steve Viscelli on The Big Rig: Trucking and the Decline of the American Dream

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Book Cover for The Big Rig by Steve Viscelli

The International Brotherhood of Teamsters Labor History Research Center at the George Washington University will host another in its ongoing Labor History Book Talks series.

Registration is required. This talk will not be recorded.

Steve Viscelli will discuss his book The Big Rig: Trucking and the Decline of the American Dream. Drawing on more than 100 in-depth interviews and years of extensive observation, including six months Viscelli spent training and working as a long-haul trucker, this book explains in detail how deregulation has defanged the power of unions to prevent employers in the trucking industry from exploiting their workforce. The book details how potential drivers are often misled about the rewards and demands of the work, how independent contractors are used to shift capital costs onto drivers, and efforts to both organize drivers and prevent them from organizing. 

Steve Viscelli is an economic sociologist who studies work, labor markets, automation, and public policy. He is currently a Faculty Fellow at the Kleinman Center for Energy Policy and Lecturer in the Department of Sociology at the University of Pennsylvania. The Big Rig is his first book. He is currently working on another book about the impact of self-driving trucks on truckers and the environment, and researching how technology and e-commerce is transforming work in last-mile delivery.