Organizing the Unemployed: Community and Union Activists in the Industrial Heartland

Organizing the Unemployed: Community and Union Activists in the Industrial Heartland

by James J. Lorence

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Overview

Organizing the Unemployed: Community and Union Activists in the Industrial Heartland by James J. Lorence

Examines the organization of the unemployed during the Great Depression and demonstrates the linkage between their mobilization and automobile-industry organization.

Focusing on Michigan during the Great Depression, this book highlights the efforts of community organizers and activists in the United Automobile Workers (UAW) to mobilize the jobless for mass action. In doing so, it demonstrates the relationship between unemployed activism and the rise of industrial unionism. Moreover, by discussing Communist and Socialist initiatives on behalf of displaced workers, the book illuminates the impact of radicalism on social change and shows how political claims influenced the cultural discourse of the 1930s.

The book not only helps fill a void in our knowledge of community activism, worker culture, and labor history in the 1930s but also sheds light on the New Deal's domestication of American labor and the channeling of mass protest toward politically and socially acceptable goals. The UAW acceptance of responsibility for the underclass of the 1930s raises pertinent questions for labor in the 1990s.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780791429877
Publisher: State University of New York Press
Publication date: 08/01/1996
Series: SUNY series in American Labor History Series
Pages: 407
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

James J. Lorence is Professor of History at University of Wisconsin Center—Marathon County. His other books include Gerald J. Boileau and the Progressive-Farmer-Labor Alliance and Organized Business and the Myth of the China Market: The American Asiatic Association, 1898-1937.

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