Our Own Time: A History of American Labor and the Working Day

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Our Own Time retells the story of American labor by focusing on the politics of time and the movements for a shorter working day. It argues that the length of the working day has been the central issue for the American labor movement during its most vigorous periods of activity, uniting workers along lines of craft, gender and ethnicity. The authors hold that the workweek is likely again to take on increased significance as workers face the choice between a society based on free time and one based on alienated work and unemployment.
 

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Contents

Shorter Hours and the Transformation of American Labor
19
Mill Women and the Working Day 18421850
43
Hours Labor Protest and Party Politics in the 1850s
65
The Civil War and the Birth of the EightHour Movement
81
Victory Defeat and New Alliances 18671879
101
Haymarket and Its Context
123
The Rightward Drift of the AFL and the Temporary Decline
145
The Working Day
177
Trade Unionism Hours and Workers Control in the
209
The Great Depression the New Deal and Shorter Hours
243
The Hours Stalemate since 1939
257
Notes
279
Bibliographical Essay
365
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About the author (1989)

Philip S. Foner (1910–1994) was Professor Emeritus of History at Lincoln University, Pennsylvania. He was the author of more than 110 published works, including History of the Labor Movement, Organized Labor and the Black Worker, Women in the American Labor Movement and American Labor Songs of the Nineteenth Century.

David Roediger is Kendrick Babcock Chair of History at the University of Illinois. Among his books are Our Own Time: A History of American Labor and the Working Day (with Philip S. Foner), How Race Survived US History: From Settlement and Slavery to the Obama Phenomenon, and The Wages of Whiteness: Race and the Making of the American Working Class. He is the editor of Fellow Worker: The Life of Fred Thompson, The North and Slavery and Black on White: Black Writers on What It Means to Be White as well as a new edition of Covington Hall's Labor Struggles in the Deep South. His articles have appeared in New Left Review, Against the Current, Radical History Review, History Workshop Journal, The Progressive and Tennis.

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