Beyond Labor's Veil: The Culture of the Knights of Labor

By Robert E. Weir | Go to book overview

Acknowledgments

In the course of this study I have racked up more debts of gratitude than I can ever hope to repay. This study began life as a doctoral dissertation at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. George Carey, David Glassberg, and Ron Story offered useful advice and commentary at that stage, and the University's interlibrary loan department helped me track down materials.

The dissertation was directed by Bruce Laurie, my advisor, mentor, and friend. Bruce's scholarly excellence, wit, criticisms, and suggestions were invaluable on the dissertation level, and again as this work evolved into a manuscript. He spent many patient hours discussing ideas with me and listening to half-baked ramblings that he carefully dissected and reformulated. His gift of cutting to the chase inspires me, though I have yet to master the art.

I have also enjoyed the privilege of exchanging ideas with spirited and intelligent colleagues at both Smith College and Bay Path College. I would like to thank R. Jackson Wilson who, as much as any person, opened my eyes to how careful historians think. I am especially grateful to Daniel Horowitz. Dan's warmth, humor, and basic humanity sustained me during moments when I wondered if this book would ever get done, and my conversations with him yielded numerous ideas and pearls of wisdom that are more the products of his insightful mind than my own musings.

Thanks also to the interlibrary loan department of Smith's Neilson Library, the National Endowment for the Humanities for a travel grant that helped locate materials for the study, and the archives and special collections staff at The Catholic University, the Museum of Our National Heritage, the Schlesinger Library at Vassar, the University of Michigan, the Wisconsin State Historical Society, the Smithsonian Institution, and the Ohio Historical Society. Thanks also to Bay Path College for supporting me financially and intellectually in the final phases of this book.

I could not have asked for a more helpful editor than Peter Potter at The Pennsylvania State University Press. Peter delivered on all of his promises, returned all my phone calls, graciously laughed at my quips,

-xi-

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Beyond Labor's Veil: The Culture of the Knights of Labor
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • List of Abbreviations vii
  • List of Illustrations ix
  • Acknowledgments xi
  • Preface xiii
  • Introduction 1
  • 1 - The Lights in Ritual 19
  • 2 - Labor Is Noble and Holy 67
  • 3 - Storm the Fort 103
  • 4 - Solidarity, Segmentation, And Sentimentality 145
  • 5 - Victoria's Sons And Daughters? 195
  • 6 - Symbols of Solidarity/ Images of Conflict 231
  • 7 - Knights of Labor Knights of Leisure 277
  • Conclusion - Do I Contradict Myself? Very Well Then I Contradict Myself 321
  • Select Bibliography 329
  • Index 339
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