Bread and roses: mills, migrants, and the struggle for the American dream

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Viking, 2005 - Political Science - 337 pages
15 Reviews
The 1912 textile strike in Lawrence, Massachusetts was a watershed moment in labor history as significant as the Haymarket bombing in Chicago and the Triangle fire in New York. In Bread and Roses, veteran journalist Bruce Watson provides a long-overdue account of the strike that began when textile workers stormed out of the mills in Lawrence on a frigid January day. Despite ownersÂ' predictions to the contrary, the walkout soon became a protracted Dickensian drama that included twenty-three thousand strikers from fifty-one nations singing as they paraded through Lawrence, bayonet-toting militiamen patrolling the streets, and the daring evacuation of the strikersÂ' tattered and hungry children to Manhattan, where they lived with strangers and wrote loving letters to their parents on the picket line.

Based on newspaper accounts, magazine reportage, and oral histories, Bread and Roses is vividly narrated and teeming with colorful characters—including rags-to-riches mill owner William Wood and radical labor leader “Big Bill” Haywood. A rousing history with the narrative drive of a novel, Bread and Roses is the true-to-life tale of a strike that became the fabric of a community and an inspiration to workers around the world.

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Review: Bread and Roses: Mills, Migrants, and the Struggle for the American Dream

User Review  - Jack - Goodreads

Very interesting and entertaining account of local history, labor history and the attitudes of the early 20th century towards workers, free speech, rebellion, and socialism. Full of interesting ... Read full review

Review: Bread and Roses: Mills, Migrants, and the Struggle for the American Dream

User Review  - Luisa Arias - Goodreads

A well-written and concise read on one of many forgotten history staples. Definitely recommend it. Read full review


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About the author (2005)

Bruce Watson is an award-winning journalist whose articles have been published in Smithsonian, Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe, San Francisco Examiner, Yankee Magazine, and The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2003.

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