Rethinking the American Labor Movement tells the story of the various groups and incidents that make up what we think of as the "labor movement." While the efforts of the American labor force towards greater wealth parity have been rife with contention, the struggle has embraced a broad vision of a more equitable distribution of the nation’s wealth and a desire for workers to have greater control over their own lives. In this succinct and authoritative volume, Elizabeth Faue reconsiders the varied strains of the labor movement, situating them within the context of rapidly transforming twentieth-century American society to show how these efforts have formed a political and social movement that has shaped the trajectory of American life. Rethinking the American Labor Movement is indispensable reading for scholars and students interested in American labor in the twentieth century and in the interplay between labor, wealth, and power.
The African American struggle for civil rights in the twentieth century is one of the most important stories in American history. With all the information available, however, it is easy for even the most enthusiastic reader to be overwhelmed. In Rethinking the Black Freedom Movement, Yohuru Williams has synthesized the complex history of this period into a clear and compelling narrative. Considering both the Civil Rights and Black Power movements as distinct but overlapping elements of the Black Freedom struggle, Williams looks at the impact of the struggle for Black civil rights on housing, transportation, education, labor, voting rights, culture, and more, and places the activism of the 1950s and 60s within the context of a much longer tradition reaching from Reconstruction to the present day. Exploring the different strands within the movement, key figures and leaders, and its ongoing legacy, Rethinking the Black Freedom Movement is the perfect introduction for anyone seeking to understand the struggle for Black civil rights in America.
Rethinking the American Prison Movement provides a short, accessible overview of the transformational and ongoing struggles against America’s prison system. Dan Berger and Toussaint Losier show that prisoners have used strikes, lawsuits, uprisings, writings, and diverse coalitions with free-world allies to challenge prison conditions and other kinds of inequality. From the forced labor camps of the nineteenth century to the rebellious protests of the 1960s and 1970s to the rise of mass incarceration and its discontents, Rethinking the American Prison Movement is invaluable to anyone interested in the history of American prisons and the struggles for justice still echoing in the present day.
In this enthralling narrative, Annelise Orleck chronicles the history of the American women's movement from the nineteenth century to the present. Starting with an incisive introduction that calls for a reconceptualization of American feminist history to encompass multiple streams of women's activism, she weaves the personal with the political, vividly evoking the events and people who participated in our era's most far-reaching social revolutions. In short, thematic chapters, Orleck enables readers to understand the impact of women's activism, and highlights how feminism has flourished through much of the past century within social movements that have too often been treated as completely separate. Showing that women’s activism has taken many forms, has intersected with issues of class and race, and has continued during periods of backlash, Rethinking American Women’s Activism is a perfect introduction to the subject for anyone interested in women’s history and social movements.
The welfare rights movement was an interracial protest movement of poor women on AFDC who demanded reform of welfare policy, greater respect and dignity, and financial support to properly raise and care for their children. In short, they pushed for a right to welfare. Lasting from the early 1960s to the mid 1970s, the welfare rights movement crossed political boundaries, fighting simultaneously for women's rights, economic justice, and black women's empowerment through welfare assistance. Its members challenged stereotypes, engaged in Congressional debates, and developed a sophisticated political analysis that combined race, class, gender, and culture, and crafted a distinctive, feminist, anti-racist politics rooted in their experiences as poor women of color. The Welfare Rights Movement provides a short, accessible overview of this important social and political movement, highlighting key events and key figures, the movement's strengths and weaknesses, and how it intersected with other social and political movements of the itme, as well as its lasting effect on the country. It is perfect for anyone wanting to obtain an introduction to the welfare rights movement of the twentieth century.
From Mission to Microchip
Author: Fred Glass
Publisher: Univ of California Press
There is no better time than now to consider the labor history of the Golden State. While other states face declining union enrollment rates and the rollback of workers’ rights, California unions are embracing working immigrants, and voters are protecting core worker rights. What’s the difference? California has held an exceptional place in the imagination of Americans and immigrants since the Gold Rush, which saw the first of many waves of working people moving to the state to find work. From Mission to Microchip unearths the hidden stories of these people throughout California’s history. The difficult task of the state’s labor movement has been to overcome perceived barriers such as race, national origin, and language to unite newcomers and natives in their shared interest. As chronicled in this comprehensive history, workers have creatively used collective bargaining, politics, strikes, and varied organizing strategies to find common ground among California’s diverse communities and achieve a measure of economic fairness and social justice. This is an indispensible book for students and scholars of labor history and history of the West, as well as labor activists and organizers.
Where Are The Unions?
Author: Doctor Sian Lazar
Publisher: Zed Books Ltd.
The start of the twenty-first century has been marked by global demands for economic justice. From the pink tide and Arab spring to Occupy and anti-austerity, the last twenty years have witnessed the birth of a new type of mass mobilisation. Where Are The Unions? compares, for the first time, the challenges faced by movements in Latin America, the Arab world and Europe. Workers’ strikes and protests were a critical part of these events, yet their role has been significantly underestimated in many of the subsequent narratives. This book focuses on the complex interactions between organised workers, the unemployed, self-employed, youth, students and the state, and critically assesses the concept of the ‘precariat’. With contributions from across four continents, this is the most comprehensive look at the global context of mass mobilisation in the twenty-first century.
Writing the Wrongs
Author: Elizabeth Faue
Publisher: Cornell University Press
Eva McDonald Valesh was one of the Progressive Era's foremost labor publicists. Challenging the narrow confines placed on women, Valesh became a successful investigative journalist, organizer, and public speaker for labor reform.Valesh was a compatriot of the labor leaders of her day and the "right-hand man" of Samuel Gompers, president of the American Federation of Labor. Events she covered during her colorful, unconventional reporting career included the Populist revolt, the Cuban crisis of the 1890s, and the 1910 Shirtwaistmakers' uprising. She was described as bright, even "comet-like," by her admirers, but her enemies saw her as "a pest" who took "all the benefit that her sex controls when in argument with a man."Elizabeth Faue examines the pivotal events that transformed this outspoken daughter of a working-class Scots-Irish family into a national political figure, interweaving the study of one woman's fascinating life with insightful analysis of the changing character of American labor reform during the period from 1880 to 1920. In her journey through the worlds of labor, journalism, and politics, Faue lays bare the underside of social reform and reveals how front-line workers in labor's political culture—reporters, investigators, and lecturers—provoked and informed American society by writing about social wrongs. Compelling, insightful, and at times humorous, Writing the Wrongs is a window on the Progressive Era, on social history and the new journalism, and on women's lives and the meanings of class and gender.
Let Me Live
Author: Angelo Herndon
Publisher: University of Michigan Press
"Written while Herndon was in prison, Let Me Live tells the story behind his arrest and his struggle through the courts. It also describes his early life as a young boy in poverty, as a laborer in the Kentucky mines, and as a construction gang worker and traces the birth and development of his passion for the Communist Party. Originally published in 1937, this is the first new edition of Let Me Live since 1969, when Howard N. Meyer rescued it from obscurity. The book features texts from the Georgia and U.S. Supreme Court decisions, the text of Herndon's speech, and newspaper editorials from the era. A substantive and thought-provoking introduction by Marlon B. Ross of the University of Virginia sheds light on this unique story and its importance to our understanding of the intersection of race and class in America - past and present."--BOOK JACKET.
Rethinking Social Movements
Author: Jeff Goodwin, James M. Jasper
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
This landmark volume brings together some of the titans of social movement theory in a grand reassessment of its status. For some time, the field has been divided between a dominant structural approach and a cultural or constructivist tradition.. The gaps and misunderstandings between the two sides--as well as the efforts to bridge them--closely parallel those in the social sciences at large. This book aims to further the dialogue between these two distinct approaches to social movements and to show the broader implications for social science as a whole as it struggles with issues including culture, emotion, and agency. Visit our website for sample chapters!
The Tejano Diaspora
Author: Marc Simon Rodriguez
Publisher: UNC Press Books
Each spring during the 1960s and 1970s, a quarter million farm workers left Texas to travel across the nation, from the Midwest to California, to harvest America's agricultural products. During this migration of people, labor, and ideas, Tejanos established settlements in nearly all the places they traveled to for work, influencing concepts of Mexican Americanism in Texas, California, Wisconsin, Michigan, and elsewhere. In The Tejano Diaspora, Marc Simon Rodriguez examines how Chicano political and social movements developed at both ends of the migratory labor network that flowed between Crystal City, Texas, and Wisconsin during this period. Rodriguez argues that translocal Mexican American activism gained ground as young people, activists, and politicians united across the migrant stream. Crystal City, well known as a flash point of 1960s-era Mexican Americanism, was a classic migrant sending community, with over 80 percent of the population migrating each year in pursuit of farm work. Wisconsin, which had a long tradition of progressive labor politics, provided a testing ground for activism and ideas for young movement leaders. By providing a view of the Chicano movement beyond the Southwest, Rodriguez reveals an emergent ethnic identity, discovers an overlooked youth movement, and interrogates the meanings of American citizenship.
This groundbreaking text explores the dramatic evolution in Latin American social movements over the past fifteen years. Assessing both the continuities in social movement dynamics and important new tendencies, this book will be essential reading for all students of Latin American politics and society.
"Premilla Nadasen recounts in this powerful book a little-known history of organizing among African American household workers. She uses the stories of a handful of women to illuminate the broader politics of labor, organizing, race, and gender in late 20th-century America. At the crossroads of the emerging civil rights movement, a deindustrializing economy, a burgeoning women's movement, and increasing immigration, household worker activists, who were excluded from both labor rights and mainstream labor organizing, developed distinctive strategies for political mobilization and social change. We learn about their complicated relationship with their employers, who were a source of much of their anguish, but, also, potentially important allies. And equally important they articulated a profound challenge to unequal state policy. Household Workers Unite offers a window into this occupation from a perspective that is rarely seen. At a moment when the labor movement is in decline; as capital increasingly treats workers as interchangeable or indispensible; as the number of manufacturing jobs continues to dwindle and the number of service sector jobs expands; as workers in industrialized countries find themselves in an precarious situation and struggle hard to make ends meet without state support or protection--the lessons of domestic worker organizing recounted here might prove to be more important than just a correction of the historical record. The women in this book, as Nadasen demonstrates, were innovative labor organizers. As a history of poor women workers, it shatters countless myths and assumptions about the labor movement and proposes a very different vision"--
Rethinking U.S. Labor History
Author: Donna T. Haverty-Stacke, Daniel J. Walkowitz
Publisher: A&C Black
This is a new edition of the radical social history of America from Columbus to the present. This powerful and controversial study turns orthodox American history upside down to portray the social turmoil behind the "march of progress". Known for its lively, clear prose as well as its scholarly research, A People's History is the only volume to tell America's story from the point of view of - and in the words of - America's women, factory workers, African-Americans, Native Americans, the working poor, and immigrant laborers. As historian Howard Zinn shows, many of America's greatest battles - the fights for fair wage, an eight-hour workday, child-labor laws, health and safety standards, universal suffrage, women's rights, racial equality - were carried out at the grassroots level, against bloody resistance. Covering Christopher Columbus's arrival through the Clinton years A People's History of the United States, which was nominated for the American Book Award in 1981, is an insightful analysis of the most important events in US history.