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Extended Audio Sample Class Action: The Landmark Case That Changed Sexual Harassment Law, by Clara Bingham, Laura Leedy Gansler Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (216 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Clara Bingham, Laura Leedy Gansler Narrator: Gabrielle de Cui Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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In the coldest reaches of northern Minnesota, a group of women endured a shocking degree of sexual harassment, until one found the courage to file the first sexual harassment class action suit in America, permanently changing the legal landscape.

When the local iron mine began hiring women in 1975, Lois Jenson, a single mother on welfare, didn’t think twice about accepting the grueling but well-paying job. What she hadn’t considered was that she was entering a male-dominated society that fiercely resented the inclusion of women, a prejudice born out in the brutal harassment of every female miner. Relentlessly threatened with pornographic graffiti, denigrating language, stalking, and physical assaults, the women largely kept quiet for fear of losing their jobs, until Lois, devastated by the abuse, found the courage to sue—and won.

This book was the basis for the acclaimed motion picture North Country starring Charlize Theron.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Bingham and Gansler have come up with mesmerizing, complex portraits of the participants in a beautifully paced narrative…Impeccable.”

    Washington Post

  • “Tightly written, extensively researched, and well plotted…With the pacing of a novel, [the authors] engage the reader from the outset…Fascinating.”

    Los Angeles Times

  • “Riveting and engrossing…A gripping and unforgettable story.”

    San Francisco Chronicle

  • “Courageous…Bingham and Gansler’s dogged legal anthropology [shows] you don’t need bright-line heroism and villainy to bundle together disparate acts of everyday degradation, name them…and demand justice.”

    New York Observer

  • “A suspenseful page-turner…The reader feels a need to know what happens next.”


  • “Powerful…top-notch reporting…Class Action is a compelling court saga and an important historical document.”

    Minneapolis Star Tribune

  • “Riveting, assiduously well reported…A useful reminder of the emotional and psychological cost of waging even the most successful—and justified—lawsuits.”

    New Yorker

  • “Brilliantly reported, documented, and written…Protagonist Lois Jenson, a worker in a Minnesota mine, is the real Erin Brockovich. Her war is not only that of every woman but of every citizen.”

    Bob Woodward, author of All the President’s Men

  • “Gabrielle de Cuir exerts commendable effort to present the story’s extensive background information in an engaging, well-paced manner. She largely succeeds, despite the wordy text…Listeners too will find the emotional impact of this book hard to ignore.”



  • “A complex account of justice sought—and won…Detailed but not dense: a sturdy addition to the literature of social justice and contemporary women’s issues.”

    Kirkus Reviews

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Colette | 2/10/2014

    " Surprise! The case was much more horrific, and dragged on much longer, than in the movie. Also, Charlize Theron is better-looking than the real chick, but Charlize is better looking than I am, too. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Drick | 1/23/2014

    " After seeing the movie "North Country" I was interested in reading this book which inspired the movie. The movie, which does not intend to be a re-telling of the actual events does a good job of depicting the nature of the harassment inflicted on the women who went to work in the Eveleth Company mines in northern Minnesota. The sexual harassment class action brought against the country was the first sexual harassment class action in the country and changed the course of litigation against sexual harassment from that time forward. However, the movie completely glosses over the incredible ordeal that the women went through through 3 court cases to win their suit. One of the claimants died and many of them suffered severe emotional and physical distress, including PTSD. While in the end the "good gals" won, the story does not give one confidence in our legal system when people long denied legal rights seek to win them. The physical and mental abuse suffered by the women on the job almost pales to the public humiliation and emotional "raping" they endured through the legal system. Lois Jensen the main character and the woman who first brought the case forward, suffered before, during and even after the case. In the end justice was done, but it shows beyond a shadow of a doubt that true systemic change only comes at a tremendous cost, something many would-be activists often ignore. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Sheila | 1/19/2014

    " I'm reading this for my Personal Injury Law class. It is fascinating. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Denise | 12/24/2013

    " A great legal history of the first class action sexual harassment case. It manages to be inspiring, thorough, and fair to both the community affected by the case and the women who suffered to bring the case. The authors are unafraid to make the plaintiffs' suffering real, which is a good sign for a legal history- often the temptation seems to be strong to romanticize the valor of a fight for justice, when really it's just exhausting. Though not as exhausting, the book makes clear, as the harassment that led to the case in the first place. "

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About the Author

Clara Bingham is a former White House correspondent for Newsweek and author of Women on the Hill: Challenging the Culture of Congress. A graduate of Harvard, she has written for Talk, Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, and Washington Monthly