Ruth Rosen

Ruth Rosen, a professor emeritus of history at the University of California, Davis, is a senior fellow at the Rockridge Institute.

Recent Articles

Political Earthquake

Imagine stepping into a polling booth and voting for candidates who, instead of being bought and paid for by corporations, unions, or wealthy donors, are financed by public funds, and accountable to you and other citizens. Sounds utopian, doesn't it? Well, clean-money elections already exist in Maine and Arizona, states too small to challenge the nation's political culture. But public financing of state elections and initiatives this fall just might expand to California, a state so large and influential that every major policy decision tends to influence the rest of the nation. Efforts at clean-money legislation have recently failed in California because elected officials were already too committed to corporations, insurance companies, unions, and wealthy donors. But within only six weeks, the California Nurses Association gathered enough signatures to put it on the ballot as an initiative. As a result, on Election Day, Californians will vote on Proposition 89, the Clean Money and...

Big-Box Battle

Selling Women Short: The Landmark Battle for Workers' Rights at Wal-Mart By Liza Featherstone • Basic Books • 336 pages • $25.00 When Betty Dukes, a 56-year-old African-American Wal-Mart worker in Pittsburg, California, first read about Sam Walton, the founder of the world's largest retailer, she felt inspired. “I learned that Sam Walton had a profound vision and started Wal-Mart on a faith venture,” she said. “I have always deeply appreciated his visionary spirit and his efforts to reach for the stars.” Never did she imagine that she'd become the lead plaintiff in a class-action sex-discrimination suit against Wal-Mart. In Selling Women Short , veteran journalist Liza Featherstone uses this historic lawsuit as a way to explore and expose the new face of the working poor in America: low-wage, mostly female retail workers. In 2000, Dukes joined five other women in the largest employment-discrimination case ever brought against a private employer. The suit charges Wal-Mart with...