In Labor's Cause: Main Themes on the History of the American Worker

In Labor's Cause: Main Themes on the History of the American Worker

In Labor's Cause: Main Themes on the History of the American Worker

In Labor's Cause: Main Themes on the History of the American Worker

Synopsis

Written by one of America's most respected labour historians, this collection of essays explores major questions in American labour history from the colonial period to the present. Chapters include `Work and Time During Early American Industrialism', `The Course of American Labour Politics', `Shaping a Labour Movement', `Labour and World War II', and `Workplace Contractualism'.

Excerpt

The novella is a minor but useful literary form for the author who has too much to say to fit into a short story but not enough to fill up a novel. the essays in this collection are the historian's counterpart to the novella, negotiating a middle ground somewhere between the narrowly defined topic of the research article and the book-length treatment of a subject. Each essay starts with a question that under other circumstances might have led to a book but here is considered more briefly and without the authority granted by lengthy immersion in the sources. the limitations of such an enterprise are, of course, evident. But consider the advantages: for the historian, the opportunity to range widely and learn new things--self-education, so to speak, at the profession's expense; and for the reader, historical fare rich enough to feed but not exhaust the intellectual appetite. It is to such a reader that this collection of essays is addressed and, in particular, to students in upper-division courses and seminars who, beyond the text, want a more sustained-- perhaps more stimulating--exploration of some of the main themes in American labor history.

So let me describe what this collection contains and suggest how it might best be read. the opening essay, like all the others, starts with a question: why, from 1791 onward, did American workers begin to demand a ten-hour day? Or, to give the issue its larger meaning, how did a modern time calculus implant itself in the consciousness of American workers? the answer to that question serves as a prism through which we can see how working people experienced the industrial revolution as it took hold in the early decades of the nineteenth century.

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.