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Sweet Tyranny: Migrant Labor, Industrial Agriculture, and Imperial Politics
     

Sweet Tyranny: Migrant Labor, Industrial Agriculture, and Imperial Politics

by Kathleen Mapes
 

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In this innovative grassroots to global study, Kathleen Mapes explores how the sugar beet industry transformed the rural Midwest by introducing large factories, contract farming, and foreign migrant labor. Identifying rural areas as centers for modern American industrialism, Mapes contributes to an ongoing reorientation of labor history from urban factory workers to

Overview

In this innovative grassroots to global study, Kathleen Mapes explores how the sugar beet industry transformed the rural Midwest by introducing large factories, contract farming, and foreign migrant labor. Identifying rural areas as centers for modern American industrialism, Mapes contributes to an ongoing reorientation of labor history from urban factory workers to rural migrant workers. She engages with a full range of individuals, including Midwestern family farmers, industrialists, Eastern European and Mexican immigrants, child laborers, rural reformers, Washington politicos, and colonial interests. Engagingly written, Sweet Tyranny demonstrates that capitalism was not solely a force from above but was influenced by the people below who defended their interests in an ever-expanding imperialist market.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"A compelling account of the deeply interconnected worlds created by the emergence of a new cash crop."—American Historical Review

“Mapes tells the understudied sugar beet industry’s fascinating story, and links events in Michigan between 1899 and 1940 to the broader national and global considerations. . . . Recommended.”—Choice

“Mapes has uncovered patterns of global trade and labor markets that have had a profound impact on American society from the turn of the twentieth century up to the present day.”—Michigan Historical Review
 
 

"A very nuanced yet powerful examination of the triumph of industrialism over agricultural America."—The Annals of Iowa

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780252091803
Publisher:
University of Illinois Press
Publication date:
10/01/2010
Series:
Working Class in American History
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
336
File size:
996 KB

Meet the Author

Kathleen Mapes is an associate professor of history at the State University of New York, Geneseo.

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