[Alternate title: BLOOD AND ROSES]
At eighteen, Chris Jamison has already experienced a lifetime of tragedy and injustice. Now, just months from high school graduation and the freedom he’s dreamed of, the last thing he wants is more trouble.
His father, Jerry Jamison, fights for labor unions as a negotiator-for-hire. But his methods are unorthodox, his allegiance suspect, and his actions tainted by crippling guilt.
Fleeing a vindictive Pennsylvania sheriff, the contentious duo crosses the rust belt to the nexus of the collapsing American auto industry. There, a battle between a bitter labor union and a dying car company grows more vicious. On one side: the United Auto Workers’ scrappiest chapter, Local 72, with its reputation for intransigence. On the other side: American Motors and Chrysler, the latter headed by Lee Iacocca, the second most-admired man in the U.S.
When Ram’s Head, a group of renegade union partisans, turns to deadly violence to win their cause, Chris is dragged into the fight and soon finds himself in a position to save or destroy the lives of thousands of assembly line workers. The war escalates and Chris must decide where his loyalties lie: with his disintegrating father, his newfound union compatriots, or his fading dream of a life without conflict.
Through the eyes and experiences of unforgettable characters, Like My Father Before Me foretells 21st-century America, with five million manufacturing jobs lost since the New Millennium. Behind each of 40,000 factory closings lie countless shattered lives.
This fictionalized account of real events in Kenosha, Wisconsin between 1985 and 1989 dramatically exposes the staggering human toll of our country’s transition to a postindustrial future.