Managers and Workers: Origins of the Twentieth-Century Factory System in the United States, 1880-1920by Daniel Nelson
During the early years of this century, the classic factory system of the industrial revolution evolved rapidly into a new, identifiable form that would characterize American and world industry for most of the twentieth century. This transformation, as important for industrial managers, workers, and consumers as the initial creation of the factory, is the
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During the early years of this century, the classic factory system of the industrial revolution evolved rapidly into a new, identifiable form that would characterize American and world industry for most of the twentieth century. This transformation, as important for industrial managers, workers, and consumers as the initial creation of the factory, is the subject of Daniel Nelson’s illuminating synthesis, updated and expanded to include the scholarship of recent decades.
This edition of Managers and Workers describes the interrelations between technological and organizational innovation, including such familiar developments as the spread of mass production and the emergence of scientific management, and other developments that were little known when the first edition of this book appeared, such as the revolution in factory architecture, the changing role of the foreman, and the spread of personnel work. The volume also incorporates the best scholarship of the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s, some of it stimulated by Managers and Workers, and includes a new chapter on the role of organized labor in the early twentieth-century factory. The focus of the work, however, remains the individual managers and workers who created the twentieth-century factory system.
The preeminent historian of the American business firm, Alfred D. Chandler Jr. reviewed the first edition of Managers and Workers in The Journal of Economic History, predicting that this book would “long remain the standard work on the origins of the American factory.” The second edition will make that prediction true for the 1990s and beyond.
“Managers and Workers is a wide-ranging yet concise introduction to the factory system that transformed America in the early twentieth century. At the center of Nelson’s story are relations between factory workers (many of them immigrants) and factory managers. Nelson deftly shows how strains in this relationship gave rise to scientific management, to Progressive reform legislation, and to national unions—the key institutions of American industrial society. . . . Managers and Workers continues to be essential reading for students and scholars of American business, labor, and social history.”—Sanford M. Jacoby, University of California–Los Angeles
“Managers and Workers became an instant classic when it first appeared twenty years ago. A second edition, incorporating later scholarship and a new chapter on labor organization, guarantees that it will remain preeminent for another twenty years—the first book to read for every student of the history of the American factory system.”—David Brody, author of In Labor’s Cause
- University of Wisconsin Press
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Meet the Author
Daniel Nelson is professor and chair of the department of history at the University of Akron. Among his many books are Unemployment Insurance: The American Experience, 1915-35 and Frederick W. Taylor and the Rise of Scientific Management, both published by the University of Wisconsin Press, and Farm and Factory: Midwestern Workers, 1880-1990.
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