A Short History of the U. S. Working Class: From Colonial Times to the Twenty-First Century / Edition 1

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Noting that standard accounts of U.S. history often pay little attention to the working class, labor historian Paul Le Blanc presents a colorful, fact-filled history that concentrates on the struggles and achievements of that often neglected laboring majority. In a blend of economic, social, and political history, Le Blanc shows how important labor issues have been and continue to be in the forging of our nation's history. Within a broad analytical framework he highlights issues of class, gender, race, and ethnicity, and includes the views of key figures of U.S. labor—Cesar Chavez, Eugene V. Debs, Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, Samuel Gompers, Woody Guthrie, "Big Bill" Haywood, Langston Hughes, "Mother" Mary Jones, Martin Luther King Jr., George Meany, A. Philip Randolph, and Carl Sandburg, among others.

In addition to the main narrative, a bibliographical essay directs readers to classic works and cutting-edge scholarship in the field of U.S. labor history as well as to relevant fiction, poetry, and films for further exploration or study. The book's substantial glossary offers clear definitions and thought-provoking mini-essays for almost 200 terms, from the most basic to the most complex and technical.

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Editorial Reviews

LeBlanc (Carlow College) blends economic, social, intellectual, cultural, and political history in analysis that encompasses views of key figures of US labor. His broad analytical framework spotlights issues of class, gender, and race. A bibliographical essay directs readers to classic and recent works in US labor history as well as relevant fiction, film, and videos. A glossary provides definitions and mini-essays for some 200 basic and technical terms. Includes b&w illustrations by acclaimed labor muralist Mike Alewitz. The author has been active in labor and social movements for many years. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781573926645
  • Publisher: Prometheus Books
  • Publication date: 10/28/1999
  • Series: Revolutionary Studies Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 160
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.23 (h) x 0.44 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface 9
Carl Sandburg's "The People, Yes" (excerpt) 13
Introduction: Explaining the Title of This Book 15
1 Origins 19
2 The First American Revolution 23
3 Industrial Revolution 29
4 Slave Labor, Free Labor 34
5 The Second American Revolution 38
6 "Gilded Age" 43
7 Rainbow Working Class 55
8 Progressive Era 61
9 Corruption 73
10 Hardship and Resurgence 79
11 The Second World War and Its Aftermath 93
12 Cold War and Social Compact 98
13 American Dream 107
14 Unfinished Business 112
15 Rude Awakenings 120
16 Where To, What Next? 126
Bibliographical Essay: Scholarly, Documentary, and Artistic Sources 135
Glossary 159
Timeline of U.S. History 179
U.S. Labor History Chronology 181
Index 193
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 25, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    The Great-Awful History

    This is a concise work in which Le Blanc brings forward the great truth of the American labor history; mind you, it is a harsh reality that we should all learn and appriciate for its perceverance.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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