Cover: The Rise of the Working-Class Shareholder: Labor’s Last Best Weapon, from Harvard University PressCover: The Rise of the Working-Class Shareholder in HARDCOVER

The Rise of the Working-Class Shareholder

Labor’s Last Best Weapon

Webber makes a persuasive case for the potential power of the pension funds he seeks to enlist in this effort [of exerting influence on the conduct of companies in which they invest].—Benjamin M. Friedman, The New York Review of Books

[An] excellent book.—Arne Alsin, Forbes

Where Webber’s book shines is in demonstrating how labor’s capital already influences the working of the financial system, notably in its efforts to improve governance.—Owen Davis, Dissent

Full of interesting bits of recent history, such as campaigns by CaPERS, AFSCME, NYC, SEIU, AFL-CIO and other union-related funds… Readers can learn much from the book on what works and what does not. The discussion of hedge funds may be particularly instructive to many.—James McRitchie, Corporate Governance

Shareholder activism should strike most thinking conservatives as perhaps the fairest form of activism. The shareholder has earned his seat at the table; he’s bought the stock. He’s got skin in the game and an interest in the long-term health of the company. This isn’t some lawmaker or bureaucrat imposing a change from the outside, with or without an understanding of the challenges facing that business.—Jim Geraghty, National Review

A thoughtful, informed analysis of the issues raised when union and public pension funds assert their economic power.—David Marcus, The Deal

Webber weaves narratives of activist campaigns (pension fund administrators, union staffers, and government comptrollers are the book’s unlikely heroes) with fine-grained analysis of the relevant legal and financial concepts in accessible prose… Webber marshals a lot of information into a common sense argument that will appeal to anyone with an interest in the current labor movement.Publishers Weekly

Webber sets forth a multifaceted plan for organized labor to strengthen its currently dismal position within the American economy.—Charles K. Piehl, Library Journal

The Rise of the Working-Class Shareholder is a thoughtful, well-written, and well-researched volume. It should be read by any who are interested in learning more about capital stewardship and shareholder activism. It highlights the way that today’s labor movement can leverage its capital to serve its members, communities, and the economy. Labor cannot afford to leave any of these strategies on the table. Webber’s book provides a useful guide to how shareholder activism can and should be used.—Tessa Hebb, ILR Review

Highly recommended.—Nell Minow

This book could be the modern bible of the movement to harness labor’s capital for working-class interests, and it couldn’t be timelier.—Teresa Ghilarducci, Director, Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Analysis (SCEPA) at The New School

A riveting, thorough, and thoughtful book that is not only a fast and fun read, but contributes wonderfully to a new and ongoing conversation about inequality, dark money, and populism in the electorate.—Mehrsa Baradaran, author of The Color of Money: Black Banks and the Racial Wealth Gap

In The Rise of the Working-Class Shareholder, David Webber shares the inspirational story of a group of ingenious individuals who discovered a new source of power for the labor movement: shareholder activism. Webber provides a compelling new legal and policy framework for using labor’s capital to advance members’ interests both as workers and as investors saving for retirement.—Jennifer Taub, Vermont Law School

David H. Webber argues forcefully that the future of the American worker is inextricably bound with shareholder power. It is only when labor’s capital is fully unleashed, Webber theorizes, that American workers will then be able to win back control of their destiny. This is an important book.—Steven Davidoff Solomon, Berkeley Center for Law and Business

Recent News

Black lives matter. Black voices matter. A statement from HUP »

From Our Blog

Marking the 75th Anniversary of Independence from British Rule

August 14 and August 15 mark the seventy-fifth anniversary of independence from British rule for Pakistan and India, respectively. Inextricably linked to the birth of these two South Asian nations is the 1947 Partition of the subcontinent that tragically accompanied the end of British colonialism.