Impatient armies of the poor: the story of collective action of the unemployed, 1808-1942

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University Press of Colorado, 1991 - Business & Economics - 558 pages
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Behind the unemployment benefits and social security cheques that millions of Americans receive today lies a long series of dramatic actions. This book tells the very human story of these actions and reveals the jobless of past depressions as creators of many important features of today's social landscape. The result of more than fifty years of research, this is the definitive study of the activities of America's unemployed throughout US history up to the outbreak of World War 2. Generously illustrated with rare or hitherto unknown photos, drawings, and cartoon, this is a poignant story about triumph in the face of great obstacles, or creative response to hardships by those who had suddenly been cut loose from society, or penniless human beings who have made history. Franklin Folsom, an active participant in the stirring events of the 1930s, presents a moving tribute to the heroism of obscure workers who solved some of the basic social problems they did not create but had to overcome in order to survive and live in dignity. Folsom's smooth and intimate style, coupled with his own perspective of the last half-century, pulls the reader into the very heart of US labour and social history. The result is a work full of compassion as well as information that should become a standard for all interested readers of our long and tumultuous history of organised labour.

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Jobless Jack Tars 1808
The First Industrial Unemployed 18191829

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About the author (1991)

Described by the Village Voice as "an autodidact in the finest American tradition," the late Franklin Folsom was a journalist, editor, and activist, as well as the author of numerous books.

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