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Like a Family: The Making of a Southern Cotton Mill World
     

Like a Family: The Making of a Southern Cotton Mill World

by Jacquelyn Dowd Hall, James L. Leloudis, Robert R. Korstad, Mary Murphy, LuAnn Jones
 

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Since its original publication in 1987, Like a Family has become a classic in the study of American labor history. Basing their research on a series of extraordinary interviews, letters, and articles from the trade press, the authors uncover the voices and experiences of workers in the Southern cotton mill industry during the 1920s and 1930s. Now with a new

Overview

Since its original publication in 1987, Like a Family has become a classic in the study of American labor history. Basing their research on a series of extraordinary interviews, letters, and articles from the trade press, the authors uncover the voices and experiences of workers in the Southern cotton mill industry during the 1920s and 1930s. Now with a new afterword, this edition stands as an invaluable contribution to American social history.

"The genius of Like a Family lies in its effortless integration of the history of the family--particularly women--into the history of the cotton-mill world.--Ira Berlin, New York Times Book Review

"Like a Family is history, folklore, and storytelling all rolled into one. It is a living, revelatory chronicle of life rarely observed by the academe. A powerhouse.--Studs Terkel

"Here is labor history in intensely human terms. Neither great impersonal forces nor deadening statistics are allowed to get in the way of people. If students of the New South want both the dimensions and the feel of life and labor in the textile industry, this book will be immensely satisfying.--Choice

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Drawing on oral interviews and workers' letters, the authors re-create the village world of the cotton mills of the Carolina Piedmont region from its beginnings in the 1880s until this distinctive cultural fabric began to unravel in the 1930s. The emphasis is on showing how kinship and a common culture gave these mill hands, mostly of rural origin, a shared identity and a hedge against poverty and management. While these rich materials have not been woven into a fully integrated account, they provide a new and significant dimension to the story of these Southern cotton workers. Recommended for subject collections.Harry Frumerman, formerly with Hunter Coll., CUNY
From the Publisher
This eloquent reconstruction of the cotton mill world allows us to understand and to pay homage to those who fought and lost.

Ira Berlin, New York Times Book Review

A work of scholarship that is both authoritative and most refreshingly undogmatic.

Jonathan Yardley, Washington Post Book World

Diligent research and fine writing has produced a landmark work.

Journal of Southern History

Like a Family is that rare compelling book, a delight for the academic and the public, with much to say to both.

Journal of American History

Like a Family is the most important study of southern cotton mill workers we have ever had.

Reviews in American History

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780807882948
Publisher:
The University of North Carolina Press
Publication date:
12/30/2012
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
544
File size:
5 MB

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher
A superb history of work and workers' culture in southern Piedmont textile mill villages from the 1880s through the General Strike of 1934. In clear and compelling prose, the authors weave the threads of social, labor, family, business, and cultural history into a rich tapestry that reveals the human dimensions of regional economic transformations over half a century.--American Historical Review

A wonderfully textured narrative of the emergence of mill culture and how it was shaped by the forces of class, race, and region. . . . Like a Family is a powerful historical account of the rise of southern industry that uses gender both to relay men's and women's experiences and to explore the ways in which gender shaped their lives.--Signs

A warm, sensitive, richly textured analysis of the role of the family, and family culture, in the social changes that came in the wake of the industrialization of the Piedmont South. . . . A deeply moving book.--International Labor and Working Class History

Like a Family is the most important study of southern cotton mill workers we have ever had.--Reviews in American History

The genius of Like a Family lies in its effortless integration of the history of the family--particularly women--into the history of the cotton-mill world. . . . This eloquent reconstruction of the cotton mill world allows us to understand and to pay homage to those who fought and lost.--Ira Berlin, New York Times Book Review

Diligent research and fine writing has produced a landmark work that someday may be considered one of a handful of indispensable works on the New South.--Journal of Southern History

A work of scholarship that is both authoritative and most refreshingly undogmatic. . . . [The authors'] sympathies lie, as well they should, with the ordinary people whose labors made the mills run, but they have sufficient breadth of mind to understand that it takes all kinds to make a world, or a mill; as a result their story is populated not by heroes and villains, but by people.--Jonathan Yardley, Washington Post Book World

Here is labor history in intensely human terms. Neither great impersonal forces nor deadening statistics are allowed to get in the way of people. If students of the New South want both the dimensions and the feel of life and labor in the textile industry, this book will be immensely satisfying.--Choice

Like a Family is history, folklore, and storytelling all rolled into one. It is a living, revelatory chronicle of life rarely observed by the academe. A powerhouse.--Studs Terkel

Like a Family is that rare compelling book, a delight for the academic and the public, with much to say to both.--Journal of American History

Meet the Author

Jacquelyn Dowd Hall is professor of history and director of the Southern Oral History Program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Jim Leloudis is professor of history, associate dean for honors, and director of the James M. Johnston Center for Undergraduate Excellence at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Robert Korstad is associate professor of public policy studies and history at Duke University.
Mary Murphy is professor of history at Montana State University.

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