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Apocalypse Then: Handel Unveils Writers' Strike Book

Strike On March 25 April 4 the Writers Guilds East and West sent their newly negotiated contract with producers out to members for a ratification vote. Little fanfare has surrounded the new agreement, which fell in line with deals struck between producers and the directors' and performers' unions months earlier. Yes, much has changed since Nov. 5, 2007, when the WGA went on strike and ushered in a new era of unrest and uncertainty in the entertainment industry that would, among other things, spark a "fucking civil war" in the Screen Actors Guild. Yep, those were the days.

For you nostalgic types, our friendly colleague/distinguished competitor Jonathan Handel has finally released "Hollywood On Strike! An Industry at War in the Internet Age." The book is an exhaustive blow by blow of a remarkable two-year span of labor upheaval, beginning May 18, 2007, when the WGA issued its pattern of demands for upcoming negotiations, and ending June 9, 2009, when SAG members finally ratified a new TV-theatrical deal. It is, needless to say, perfect beach reading—and a necessary tome for anyone who cares about how the entertainment industry makes its sausage (or is an ingredient in said sausage).

An attorney by trade, Handel covered the entertainment unions at his personal blog, Digital Media Law, before being hired last year by The Hollywood Reporter (Back Stage's sister publication) to work the labor beat as a contributing editor. New-media nerd that he is, he's made "Hollywood On Strike!" available through Kindle and the Nook-compatible Google Books. For those of you who prefer your books heavy and flammable, paper copies can be procured via Amazon.

Handel will be the featured guest April 12 at Southwestern Law School in Los Angeles for a talk entitled, "The Past, Present and Future of Hollywood Unions." He will also host a book party and signing event April 30, 1-3 p.m., at the Los Angeles Showbiz Store.

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