Mollie's Job: A Story of Life and Work on the Global Assembly Line
Reviewed by Ann Guidry, Fri., Oct. 13, 2000
Mollie's JobA Story of Life and Work on the Global Assembly Line
by William M. Adler
Scribner, 318 pp., $27.50
In this study of globalization's effects on one company, it is 1950 and Mollie has traveled from her home in Cartersville, Virginia, to Paterson, New Jersey, where she has gone to meet her fiancé. Here she becomes acquainted with Universal Manufacturing Company, where she will work for 36 years until the demise of the company's presence in Paterson. Her job is the reference point by which Adler reconstructs the history of Universal, the men who grew the company, and the communities it affected. An in-depth historical study of union disputes, racial conflict, the ebb and flow of U.S. economic policy up to our post-NAFTA, downsized present follows in the wake. By naming names and telling the provocative stories of the people connected to Universal, William Adler brings globalization to eye level, making clear the dangers inherent to industrial workers on both ends of the system.