In Labor's Cause: Main Themes on the History of the American Worker
These extended essays by one of the preeminent scholars in U.S. labor history discuss central questions in the field, from the colonial period to the present: What do the first demands for a fixed workday tell us about how early American workers experienced the beginnings of the industrial revolution? Why did American labor politics never manage to break the grip of the two-party system? What was the impact of ideology, career leadership, and ethnicity on the American labor movement? How did American trade unionism cope with the market-drive forces of American capitalism? Why did so great a national crisis as World War II have so modest an impact on labor-capital-state relations in America? And finally, how did the struggle for industrial unionism produce the highly formalized "adversarial" system of workplace representation that many observers today see as one of the prime obstacles to American competitiveness in the new global economy? The book's essay structure permits detailed exploration of significant issues, while its wide chronological range and emphasis on causation broaden its scope to embrace major themes and trends. Like Brody's Workers in Industrial America (Second Edition, Oxford, 1993), In Labor's Cause makes an important contribution toward a comprehensive interpretation of the history of workers in America, and will be a fundamental component of any U.S. survey course, as well as courses in American labor or economic history.
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