First Class

The U.S. Postal Service, Democracy, and the Corporate Threat

First Class (Paperback, 2021, City Lights Books)


Published Nov. 9, 2021 by City Lights Books.

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The fight over the future of the U.S. Postal Service is on. Political ideologues and corporate interests have long sought to remake the USPS from a public institution into a private business, and in 2020, during an election dependent on mail-in votes, the attacks escalated. This year, with mid-term elections fast approaching and the next presidential contest on the horizon, attempts to undermine the essential role of the USPS are gaining ground. Three states have already passed laws to limit voting by mail, with more poised to do the same. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy recently unveiled a “10-year plan” that openly promises slower delivery times, price hikes on postage, and reduced access to post offices, outlining the next stage of battle.

In First Class, Christopher Shaw provides an illuminating history of the U.S. Postal Service, exposing the various campaigns against it. He argues that current attacks have implications that …