Culture, Gender, Race, and U. S. Labor History
AUTHOR: Ronald C. Kent and Sara Markham
PUBLISHER: Greenwood Publishing Group, Incorporated
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This contributor volume brings the best work of such established historians as Morris Schappes, Nathan Godfried, and Eric Foner together with the newer voices of Elizabeth Sharpe and Jennifer Bosch. Its eleven essays challenge the boundary between the older, institutional labor history and the more recent social histories of working people. By combining a focus on culture, women's history, and race relations that is characteristic of the best of the latest working class history with an emphasis on formal protests, leadership, and power, the volume suggests that a truly new labor history will reflect a variety of concerns and draw on diverse inspirations.
In three chapters elucidating new features of labor biography and working-class politics, the volume's opening section considers George Edwin McNeill, the Socialist Party's efforts to free Eugene Debs, and the Socialist Party's left wing. Turning to women in labor history, the next section includes two chapters on Union W.A.G.E., an organization of mainly white, working class women, and Ellen Gates Starr, co-founder of Hull House. In a third section on African-American history, two scholars consider Black labor and African-American laborers in the Reconstruction era. The final section considers culture, education, and the working class. These chapters analyze the role of broadcasting and the Socialists' effort to establish an alternative radio station; labor education in the 1920s; the literary portrayal of sailors in "Dana's Two Years Before the Mast," and the victims of the Rapp-Coudert Committee. By placing workers and their organizations convincingly within the context of their culture, this volume helps to demonstrate the ways the labor movement has remade this nation and how the nation has shaped the labor movement.
PUBLICATION DATE: 4/30/1993
CATEGORY: Business & Economics, Political Science, Social Science