Description : Strikes have been part of American labor relations from colonial days to the present, reflecting the widespread class conflict that has run throughout the nation's history. Against employers and their goons, against the police, the National Guard, local, state, and national officials, against racist vigilantes, against their union leaders, and against each other, American workers have walked off the job for higher wages, better benefits, bargaining rights, legislation, job control, and just plain dignity. At times, their actions have motivated groundbreaking legislation, defining new rights for all citizens; at other times they have led to loss of workers' lives. This comprehensive encyclopedia is the first detailed collection of historical research on strikes in America. To provide the analytical tools for understanding strikes, the volume includes two types of essays - those focused on an industry or economic sector, and those focused on a theme. Each industry essay introduces a group of workers and their employers and places them in their economic, political, and community contexts. The essay then describes the industry's various strikes, including the main issues involved and outcomes achieved, and assesses the impact of the strikes on the industry over time. Thematic essays address questions that can only be answered by looking at a variety of strikes across industries, groups of workers, and time, such as, why the number of strikes has declined since the 1970s, or why there was a strike wave in 1946. The contributors include historians, sociologists, anthropologists, and philosophers, as well as current and past activists from unions and other social movement organizations. Photos, a Topic Finder, a bibliography, and name and subject indexes add to the works appeal.
Description : Providing sweeping coverage of U.S. labor history, this resource contains over 650 entries, encompassing labor history from the colonial era to the present. Written as an objective social history, the "Encyclopedia" encapsulates the rise and decline, and continuous change of U.S. labor history into the 21st century.
Description : In August 1981, the Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization (PATCO) called an illegal strike. The new president, Ronald Reagan, fired the strikers, establishing a reputation for both decisiveness and hostility to organized labor. As Joseph A. McCartin writes, the strike was the culmination of two decades of escalating conflict between controllers and the government that stemmed from the high-pressure nature of the job and the controllers' inability to negotiate with their employer over vital issues. PATCO's fall not only ushered in a long period of labor decline; it also served as a harbinger of the campaign against public sector unions that now roils American politics. Now available in paperback, Collision Course sets the strike within a vivid panorama of the rise of the world's busiest air-traffic control system. It begins with an arresting account of the 1960 midair collision over New York that cost 134 lives and exposed the weaknesses of an overburdened system. Through the stories of controllers like Mike Rock and Jack Maher, who were galvanized into action by that disaster and went on to found PATCO, it describes the efforts of those who sought to make the airways safer and fought to win a secure place in the American middle class. It climaxes with the story of Reagan and the controllers, who surprisingly endorsed the Republican on the promise that he would address their grievances. That brief, fateful alliance triggered devastating miscalculations that changed America, forging patterns that still govern the nation's labor politics. Written with an eye for detail and a grasp of the vast consequences of the PATCO conflict for both air travel and America's working class, Collision Course is a stunning achievement.
Description : In a detailed study of life and politics in Philadelphia between the 1930s and the 1950s, James Wolfinger demonstrates how racial tensions in working-class neighborhoods and job sites shaped the contours of mid-twentieth-century liberal and conservative politics. As racial divisions fractured the working class, he argues, Republican leaders exploited these racial fissures to reposition their party as the champion of ordinary white citizens besieged by black demands and overwhelmed by liberal government orders. By analyzing Philadelphia's workplaces and neighborhoods, Wolfinger shows the ways in which politics played out on the personal level. People's experiences in their jobs and homes, he argues, fundamentally shaped how they thought about the crucial political issues of the day, including the New Deal and its relationship to the American people, the meaning of World War II in a country with an imperfect democracy, and the growth of the suburbs in the 1950s. As Wolfinger demonstrates, internal fractures in New Deal liberalism, the roots of modern conservatism, and the politics of race were all deeply intertwined. Their interplay highlights how the Republican Party reinvented itself in the mid-twentieth century by using race-based politics to destroy the Democrats' fledgling multiracial alliance while simultaneously building a coalition of its own.
Description : The epic story of the rise and fall of the empire of cotton, its centrality to the world economy, and its making and remaking of global capitalism. Cotton is so ubiquitous as to be almost invisible, yet understanding its history is key to understanding the origins of modern capitalism. Sven Beckert’s rich, fascinating book tells the story of how, in a remarkably brief period, European entrepreneurs and powerful statesmen recast the world’s most significant manufacturing industry, combining imperial expansion and slave labor with new machines and wage workers to change the world. Here is the story of how, beginning well before the advent of machine production in the 1780s, these men captured ancient trades and skills in Asia, and combined them with the expropriation of lands in the Americas and the enslavement of African workers to crucially reshape the disparate realms of cotton that had existed for millennia, and how industrial capitalism gave birth to an empire, and how this force transformed the world. The empire of cotton was, from the beginning, a fulcrum of constant global struggle between slaves and planters, merchants and statesmen, workers and factory owners. Beckert makes clear how these forces ushered in the world of modern capitalism, including the vast wealth and disturbing inequalities that are with us today. The result is a book as unsettling as it is enlightening: a book that brilliantly weaves together the story of cotton with how the present global world came to exist.
Description : This provocative book reveals how Hollywood films reflect our deepest fears and anxieties as a country, often recording our political beliefs and cultural conditions while underscoring the darker side of the American way of life.
Description : Polish Canadians typically identify themselves as stringent anti-Communists, a label solidified by the legacies of the 1980s Solidarity movement, its founder Lech Walęsa, and the widespread anti-Communist riots that helped topple the Communist regime in 1989. Hurrah Revolutionaries challenges this common perception by examining the Polish immigrant community in Canada and the development of radical and traditionally "deviant" ideologies during the interwar period until the end of the Second World War. Patryk Polec unveils a versatile, well-funded, and influential Polish pro-Communist movement with a talented leadership that worked tirelessly to persuade traditionally conservative and religious immigrants to adopt an ideology that was anti-nationalist and atheist. He traces the roots of socialist support in Poland, its transplantation to Canada where the movement enjoyed its greatest support, the challenges the movement faced within an ethnic community influenced by Catholicism, and the complications caused by its links to the Communist International. Polec offers a deeper understanding of the ways in which the Communist Party was able to appeal to certain ethnic groups through cultural outreach as well as its complicated and often counter-productive relationship with the Soviet Union. Grounded in recently declassified Polish consular documents and RCMP surveillance reports, Hurrah Revolutionaries is the first full-length study of Polish Communists in Canada, a group that constituted a substantial portion of the country’s socialist left in the twentieth century.
Description : From the dawning of the industrial epoch, wage earners have organized themselves into unions, fought bitter strikes, and gone so far as to challenge the very premises of the system by creating institutions of democratic self-management aimed at controlling production without bosses. With specific examples drawn from every corner of the globe and every period of modern history, this pathbreaking volume comprehensively traces this often underappreciated historical tradition. Ripe with lessons drawn from historical and contemporary struggles for workers’ control, Ours to Master and to Own is essential reading for those struggling to create a new world from the ashes of the old. Immanuel Ness is professor of political science at Brooklyn College, City University of New York, and edits WorkingUSA. Dario Azzellini is a writer, documentary director, and political scientist at Johannes Kepler University in Linz.
Description : This encyclopedia traces the evolution of American workers and labor organizations from pre-Revolutionary America through the present day. • Suggested reading for each entry, including both print and online resources • A chronology of important labor highlights • 350 entries covering key topics
Description : This ready-reference encyclopedia offers in-depth coverage of the economic, political, and social developments of the Industrial Revolution in the United States from 1750 to 1920. More than 200 substantial entries cover key individuals, significant technologies, inventions, court cases, companies, political institutions, economic events, and legislation. Highlights of the work include numerous entries on developments in water and rail transportation, agriculture, manufacturing, mass production, the labor movement, big government, and the key inventions that changed the American economy. More than 50 historical illustrations and photos enliven the text.