Labor and Politics in the U.S. Postal Service

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Labor and Politics in the U.S. Postal Service grew out of concern for the way a large public organization does its work. It reflects my effort to link experience working as a letter carrier and mail collector with subsequent years of study in the field of organizational sociology. The final product is an academic book that certainly reveals great distance from experience in the postal workplace, but I must confess that the book still presents more a view from the bottom than a view from the top of the post office. I hope this view proves beneficial. It turns out that studying the post office has become an ongoing project that has outlived several jobs, relationships, and hairlines. What originated as a historical study of the 1970 reorganization became an analysis of the causes and consequences of an ongoing process of re- structuring and technological change in the post office. Fortunately for me, similar restructurings have recently occurred in organizations and industries across the nation and around the world. The competitive pressures, new technologies, and political and class-based conflicts dis- cussed in this book are perhaps more relevant today than they were in the late 1970s when I began research on the post office.