Free Download of Shawn Fain's 'Other Bible,' A Troublemaker's Handbook

Seen from the side/back, Shawn Fain in a red hoodie holds up a battered purple copy of A Troublemaker's Handbook. Arrayed in front of him can be seen a huge seated crowd in the ballroom for the closing plenary.

UAW President Shawn Fain held up a dog-eared copy of a Labor Notes classic, A Troublemaker's Handbook, in his closing speech at the 2024 Conference. You can download the book for free below. Photo: Jim West/

“As a young union activist I had another bible," United Auto Workers President Shawn Fain said on Sunday in the final main session of the 2024 Labor Notes Conference. "It was this book right here, called A Troublemaker's Handbook, from Labor Notes.

"This was my bible when I became a union rep, and it taught me how to fight the boss, how to fight company unionism, all at the same time.

"I got a section here flagged and you can see in this thing all the highlights I have in this one section, chapter five, which is 'Dealing with Labor-Management Cooperation Programs,' [crowd laughs], because we were living it in the UAW.

"This bible taught me another kind of faith. It taught me faith in the membership. It taught me faith in the working class. And it is that faith that carried the UAW to our new chapter in history.”



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Here's the video clip of his remarks:

The book, published in 1991, and its sequel A Troublemaker's Handbook 2, published in 2005, are long out of print; we lost many of our remaining copies when our office flooded a few years ago. (Thanks, climate change!)

You can still find a few used copies for sale online, but they're expensive. Labor Notes is pleased to make a digital (PDF) copy available for free download (though donations are welcome!):

A Troublemaker's Handbook (PDF)

Alexandra Bradbury is the editor of Labor