The Human Tradition in American Labor History / Edition 1

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The Human Tradition in American Labor History is a comprehensive exploration of the American working class from the colonial period to the present. In marked contrast to most academic treatments of American labor, this book presents history through mini-biographical portraits of a diverse selection of workers. Focusing on the contributions of women and minorities and using the racial and ethnic diversity of America's working people as its starting point, The Human Tradition in American Labor History features the most up-to-date research into the experiences of American workers and labor activists in the broadest range of occupations and sectors of the economy.

This book encompasses all aspects of American labor history and reveals the diversity of movements for social change, including unionism, labor politics, and race relations. Students will discover the wide spectrum of people who made labor history. These chronological biographies show how these individuals were instrumental in shaping American labor over the last 250 years.

By giving a new and personal perspective to this topic, The Human Tradition in American Labor History will stimulate as well as educate students in American labor history, and American social history.

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Editorial Reviews

Michael Honey
This book is a gem accessible to all readers, presenting a diverse array of personalities and histories, with solid writing by accomplished scholars and a fine introduction and essay by Eric Arnesen.
Eileen Boris and Nelson Lichtenstein
Eric Arnesen has assembled a wonderful set of biographical stories, both of famous leaders and unknown activists. All are remarkable portraits from labor's past, evoking a world of passion and drama that contemporary readers will find amazingly instructive.
Joshua B. Freeman
These short, engaging biographies capture the multitudinous forms labor has taken over the course of American history, in the tasks performed, the social arrangements of work, and the identity of the workers. While a few well-known figures are profiled, mostly we see the history of labor through long-forgotten midwives, seamstresses, slaves, craftsmen, and agitators. This collection would make a fine addition to any course on the history of American labor, or for that matter, of the United States.
Thomas J. Sugrue
Eric Arnesen has compiled a splendid collection of labor biographies. [This book] sheds new light on labor activists both famous and obscure. This important collection belongs on every labor historian's bookshelf.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780842029865
  • Publisher: Scholarly Resources, Inc.
  • Publication date: 12/28/2003
  • Series: Human Tradition in America Series
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 6.26 (w) x 9.28 (h) x 0.97 (d)

Meet the Author

Eric Arnesen is professor of history and African American studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago, where he is also chair of the Department of History.

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Table of Contents

* Introduction, Eric Arnesen

1. Mary Hale and Ann Edmonds: Gender, Women's Work, and Health in Colonial Massachusetts, by Rebecca J. Tannenbaum

2. Gabriel's Conspiracy: The Lives of Enslaved Artisans in Richmond, Virginia, by James Sidbury

3. Sarah Bagley: Laboring for Life, by Teresa Murphy

4. Beeswax Taylor: The Forgotten Legacy of Labor Insurgency in Gilded Age America, by Paul Krause

5. William R. Riley: Limits of Interracial Unionism in the Late-Nineteenth-Century South, by Karin A. Shapiro

6. Eugene V. Debs: From Conservative Unionist to American Socialist, by Colin J. Davis

7. Pauline Newman: Immigration, Jewish Radicalism, and Gender, by Annelise Orleck

8. Karl Yoneda: Radical Organizing and Asian American Labor, by Chris Friday

9. James Evans: Religion and Working-Class Protest in the New South, by Bryant Simon

10. A. Philip Randolph: Labor and the New Black Politics, by Eric Arnesen

11. Vernon Lawhorn, Thomas James Buchner, and the Green Brothers: Reverse Migration in World War II, by Risa L. Goluboff

12. Dolores Huerta: The United Farm Workers Union, by Margaret Rose

13. Walter Reuther: The Promise of Modern America, by Kevin Boyle

* Index

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