Story of Reo Joe: Work, Kin, and Community in Autotown, U. S. A. / Edition 1

Story of Reo Joe: Work, Kin, and Community in Autotown, U. S. A. / Edition 1

by Lisa Fine
Pub. Date:
Temple University Press

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Story of Reo Joe: Work, Kin, and Community in Autotown, U. S. A. / Edition 1

The Reo Motor Car Company operated in Lansing, Michigan, for seventy years, and encouraged its thousands of workers to think of themselves as part of a factory family. Reo workers, most typically white, rural, native-born Protestant men, were dubbed Reo Joes. These ordinary fellows had ordinary aspirations: job security, decent working conditions, and sufficient pay to support a family. They treasured leisure time for family activities (many sponsored by the company), hunting, and their fraternal organizations. Even after joining a union, Reo Joes remained loyal to the company and proud of the community built around it.

Lisa M. Fine tells the Reo story from the workers' perspective on the vast social, economic, and political changes that took place in the first three quarters of the twentieth century. Lisa Fine explores their understanding of the city where they lived, the industry that employed them, and the ideas about work, manhood, race, and family that shaped their identities. The Story of Reo Joe is, then, a book about historical memory; it challenges us to reconsider what we think we know about corporate welfare, unionization, de-industrialization, and working-class leisure.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781592132584
Publisher: Temple University Press
Publication date: 06/11/2004
Series: Critical Perspectives On the Past Series
Edition description: 1
Pages: 272
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.70(d)

Table of Contents

Introducing Reo Joe in Lansing, Michigan1
1Making Reo and Reo Joe in Lansing, 1880-192915
2Reo Joe and His Big Factory Family, 1904-192938
3Reo Joe's New Deal, 1924-193962
4Reo Rebellions, 1939-1951: Wars, Women, and Wobblies94
5A Cold War Factory Family124
6The "Fall" of Reo, 1955-1975149
Epilogue: Reo of the Mind169

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