The Fall of the House of Labor: The Workplace, the State, and American Labor Activism, 1865-1925 / Edition 1

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By studying the ways in which American industrial workers mobilized concerted action in their own interest, the author focuses on the workplace itself, examining the codes of conduct developed by different types of workers and the connections between their activity at work and their national origins and neighborhood life. David Montgomery, Farnam Professor of History at Yale University since 1979, is the author of Worker's Control in America (CUP, 1979) and is co-editor of the journal International Labor and Working Class History.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"David Montgomery...both exemplifies and transcends the recent trend toward painstakingly detailed social history...he has undertaken a far vaster project than most contemporary labor historians would attempt: American labor activism of all varieties and locales, from the time when American workers organized the first tentative but recognizable trade unions, in the mid-nineteenth century, to the emergence of the working class as an insurrectionary force during the first two decades of the twentieth century, to its humiliating defeat in the years following the First World War...the closest thing we E.P. Thompson's monumental book, The Making of the English Working Class." Barbara Ehrenreich, in The Atlantic

"...the most sweeping portrait of working-class life to emerge from the new labor history...a subtle, complex, often brilliant study..." Alan Brinkley in the New Republic

Library Journal
After the Civil War, American workers struggled to gain a voice in how the workplace was run, and to create strong labor unions. Montgomery concentrates on what was happening on the shop floor, rather than in the union hall or the factory office. He shows how craftsmen, machine operatives, and common laborers developed separate codes of job conduct related to their backgrounds many were immigrants and neighborhood cultures. At the turn of the century, big companies adopted management styles designed to weaken unions, while radicals competed with unions. By the mid-1920s, the labor movement was in retreat, radical movements were discredited, and workers mostly unorganized.Recommended for subject collections.Harry Frumerman, formerly with Economics Dept., Hunter Coll., CUNY
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521379823
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 10/28/2005
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 508
  • Sales rank: 1,052,367
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments; Abbreviations used in text and notes; Introduction; 1. The manager's brain under the workman's cap; 2. The common laborer; 3. The operative; 4. The art of cutting metals; 5. White shirts and superior intelligence; 6. 'Our time … belives in change'; 7. Patriots or paupers; 8. 'This great struggle for democracy'; 9. 'A maximum of publicity with a minimum of interference'; Index.

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