History 831

Urban Studies 933



Tire Builders at Goodyear, 1918

Colloquium in 20th Century

American Urban Labor History

Spring 2000
Instructor: Michael Gordon
Office: Holton 346
Phone: 229-4314
e-mail: mgordon@uwm.edu
Office Hours: Tues. and Thurs., 2:00-3:30 and by appointment
 

**Click Here for An Extensive Bibliography on American Labor History since 1865**












  ** Click Here for 20th Century Labor Documentary Film Festival

(Spring 2000)














 NOTE:  If you have a disability, please let me know soon what accommodations are
needed to enhance your participation in this course.

Introduction

 History colloquia and seminars in Urban Studies are courses in which students read and discuss literature on a specific subject.  This course focuses on American labor history since 1877,  but especially on urban workers in the Twentieth Century.  Because this is a reading seminar, and because most of you likely have little knowledge of American labor history, I have designed the course to introduce you to some of the major events and themes in American working-class history, and to let you sample some of the wonderful literature on the subject.

Each week, we will read and discuss a common set of readings.   To expand your knowledge of the literature on labor history, each week a few students will present brief oral reports on an article related to the week's focus.  Each of you will make several such reports during the semester.  Because I want you to read as much as possible, I have kept writing assignments to a minimum.   You must prepare an historiographical essay on a subject related to the course that interests you. (See below for details.)

 The purpose of these assignments is to get you immersed in some fascinating subjects and
debates concerning the history of workers in the United States.  From the first week's reading it
will be apparent that the writing of American labor history has changed considerably over the last
thirty years.  Before the 1960's, most labor historians focused on the history of labor unions.
Reflecting the influence of labor economists at the University of Wisconsin who helped shape the
field of labor history, historians studied the growth and development of trade unions, the varieties
of trade union philosophies, and union structure and function.  The work of British and European
social historians in the 1950's and 1960's helped to enlarge--and shift--the focus of labor history to
include the experiences, thought, behavior, and institutions of diverse immigrant and native-born
workers who may or may not have been union members.  In ways this course will explore, recent
American labor historians have helped shed new light on working-class history--and United States
history--by examining such things as the relationship between ethnicity, race, gender, and class;
how and why work has changed; the roles of unions, families, churches, and other working-class
institutions in workers' lives; the relationships between working-class cultures and mass culture;
how capitalism, the state, and workers themselves have shaped class relations; and much else.
Although this "new labor history" has been enlightening, friendly critics of this approach charge
that by  shifting their focus away from labor unions, the "new labor historians" have neglected the
important ways that unions may have shaped and reflected working-class aspirations and values,
and the larger national culture as well.  These critics urge labor historians to combine the
conceptual frameworks and methodologies of the "old" and "new" labor histories.

You will have opportunities to read examples of the "old" and "new" approaches as we
explore some of the literature on American working-class history in general, and on urban
workers in particular, in the years since the great upheaval of 1877.
 

Course Objectives

Even by limiting the course to the years since 1877, many subjects and much literature
must be omitted.  Still, I think we can accomplish much.  Specifically, we seek:

               1.   To obtain an introductory knowledge of the main events and developments in
                     American labor history and the history of urban workers since 1877;

               2.   To understand some of the historiographical debates about working class history,
                     including the differences between the "old" and "new" labor history;

               3.   To read and discuss representative literature on periods and subjects in American
                     labor history;

               4.   To learn ways of conceptionalizing American labor history, including the
                     relationships between class, ethnicity, gender, and race;

               5.   To develop students' abilities to analyze working-class history in class discussions,
                     oral reports, and in writing.

Core Books
 

 The following books are available at the UWM bookstore.  They also are on reserve in the library.

        1.    Ardis Cameron, Radicals of the Worst Sort: Laboring Women in Lawrence, Massachusetts,
               1860-1912.   Champaign: University of Illinois Press, 1995.
        2.    Kimberly Phillips, Alabama North: African-American Migrants, Community, and Working-Class
               Activism in Cleveland, 1915-45.  Champaign: University of Illinois Press, 1999.
        3.    Lizabeth Cohen, Making a New Deal: Industrial Workers in Chicago, 1919-1939.  Cambridge:
               Cambridge University Press, 1990
        4.    Thomas Sugrue, The Origins of the Urban Crisis: Race and Inequality in Postwar Detroit.
        Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1996.
        5.    Stanley Aronowitz,  From the Ashes of the Old: American Labor and America's Future. Boston:
               Houghton Mifflin, 1998.

Responsibilities

Colloquia are cooperative enterprises.  I can suggest some readings and raise some questions, but to learn most from this course you must participate fully in every respect.  This means you must come prepared to discuss the week's readings, meet deadlines, and contribute suggestions and comments from which we all can learn.  To help us achieve the course objectives and to create an atmosphere of cooperative learning, you must assume the following
responsibilities:

               1.   Complete assigned weekly readings before class and be prepared to discuss them.
                     For your own  benefit, and to facilitate class discussion, I suggest (but do not
                      require) that you prepare a two-page  summary of each week�s readings
                     in which  you briefly state the study's scope, purpose, and thesis; summarize
                    the major  findings; and mention strengths or weaknesses.

              2.   Collaborate with two or three others and lead the discussion of one of the core
                    books.  In leading the  discussion, briefly summarize the book�s purpose, scope,
                    and thesis, and analyze how the author  supports her/his argument.
                    Then raise  questions for class discussion.

               3.   Prepare an analytic paper on a subject covered in weeks 3-15 in which you
                    incorporate reading for that  week with other secondary sources drawn from
                    the  bibliography and your own research.  You should not try to exhaust
                    the literature  on the subject for these papers.  Rather, the purpose is
                    to critically analyze what  light perhaps a dozen different studies shed
                    on the subject, and on major historiographical questions considered
                    in the course.  Consult with me on this paper early in the semester.
                    For bibliographical aids, see the annual bibliography on labor history
                    in Labor History; the  bibliography of articles on labor history in
                    each issue of the Journal of American History; and the  indispensable
                    America:  History and Life (library reference room and on the web through the library).

            Length: 15-20 pages.  Due: May 10.

                   Please Note:   Papers must be typed and double-spaced, and must conform to professional
                   standards.  Consult a style manual for help.
 

Grading

          Class participation:  50 percent
          Paper 50 percent

A Note on Reading Assignments:

It is not possible for us to read all of the many good books on American labor history
since 1865.  However, we can sample some of these studies by reading articles that are derived or
are based on the larger works.  That is why I have assigned so many articles for this course.
There is much to read, but I have tried to keep the assignments manageable.   We will not read
everything that is listed as assignments each week.  Instead, we will choose articles that look
especially interesting.

I also encourage you to consult the bibliography for this course.  If you find articles in this or other bibliographies that look more interesting to you than the ones I have listed, please let me know.  We can add and substitute
readings at your suggestion.
 
 

                                                      CLASS MEETINGS
 

1/26        INTRODUCTION

2/2         WHAT IS THE FOCUS OF AMERICAN LABOR HISTORY

            In this session, we explore aspects of labor historiography (Brody, Baron), ways of
                 conceptualizing labor history (Fink, Gutman,), views of urban life and workers,
                 and a working definition of class (Thompson).

            Resources
                    1.   David Brody, "The Old Labor History and the New: In Search of an
                               American Working Class," Labor History 20 (Winter 1979), 11-26.
                         2.   David Brody, Reconciling the Old Labor History and the New," Pacific
                               Historical Review," 72 (February 1993), 111-126.
                         3.   Ava Baron, "Gender and Labor History: Learning from the Past, Looking
                               to the Future," in Baron, ed., Work Engendered: Toward a New History of
                               American Labor.  Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1991.
                         4.   John Cumbler,  �The City and the Community: The Impact of Urban
                               Forces on Working Class Behavior,� Journal of Urban History 3(4)
                               (1977), 427-442.
                         5.   Leon Fink, "Looking Backward: Reflections on Workers' Culture and
                               Certain Conceptual Dilemmas within Labor History," in J. Carroll Moody
                               and Alice Kessler-Harris, eds., Perspectives on American Labor History:
                               The Problems of Synthesis.  DeKalb: Northern Illinois University Press,
                               1990.
                         6.   James Gregory,   �Southernizing the American Working Class: Post-War
                               Episodes of Regional and Class Transformations,� Labor History 39 (May
                               1998), 135-154.
                         7.   Herbert G. Gutman, "Work, Culture, and Society in Industrializing
                              America," in Gutman, Work, Culture, and Society in Industrializing
                               America.  New York: Knopf, 1976.
                         8.   Howard Kimeldorf,  "Bringing the Unions Back in (Or Why We Need a
                               New Old labor History)," with responses by Michael Kazin, Alice Kessler-
                               Harris, David Montgomery, Bruce Nelson, and Daniel Nelson, Labor
                               History 32 (1991), 91-129.
                         9.   John F. McClymer,   �Social Space and the Development of Working-Class
                               and/or Urban Culture,� Journal of Urban History 14(3) (1988), 406-412.
                       10.  E. P. Thompson, "Preface," in The Making of the English Working Class.
                               New York: Vintage Books, 1963.
                       11.  Joe William Trotter, Jr.,  �African Americans in the City: The Industrial
                               Era, 1900-1950,� Journal of Urban History 21(4) (1995), 438-457.
                       12.  Joe William Trotter, Jr.,  �African-American Workers: New Directions in
                               U.S. Labor Historiography,� Labor History 35 (Fall 1994), 495-523.
                       13.   Kenneth L. Kusmer, "African Americans in the City Since World War II:
                               From Industrial to the Post-Industrial Era," Journal of Urban History 21 (4)
                               (May 1995), 458-504.
 

2/9         THE RISE OF URBAN WORKING CLASSES AND WORKING-CLASS
             PROTESTS IN LATE 19TH-CENTURY AMERICA

            Capitalists and workers responded to challenges in post Civil War America in different ways.
                    Their responses were affected by-- and shaped--work and class  relationships as cities
                    and urban working classes grew.  At the root of these  responses were intense struggles
                    for power and control.  Depression, employer  initiatives, and the maturing industrial society
                    caused great social dislocations and  sparked extraordinary class conflict from the 1870's
                    through the 1890's. The readings below and two brief films explore these themes and
                    capture some aspects  of workers' protests in these years.

            Background (optional)
            Joshua Freeman, Nelson Lichtenstein, Stephen Brier, et al., Who Built America?
                    Volume Two: From the Gilded Age to the Present.  New York: Pantheon Books,
                    1992, chapters 1-2.

            Resources
                 1.   David Montgomery, "Workers' Control of Machine Production in the
                               Nineteenth Century," in Montgomery, Workers' Control in America:
                               Studies in the History of Work, Technology, and Labor Struggles.
                               Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1979.
                         2.   Roy Rosenzweig, "Reforming Working-Class Play: Workers, Parks, and
                               Playgrounds in an Industrial City, 1870-1920," in Charles Stephenson and
                               Robert Asher, eds., Life and Labor: Dimensions of American Working-
                               Class History.  Albany: SUNY Press, 1986.
                         3.   Paul Avrich, The Haymarket Tragedy. Princeton: Princeton University
                               Press, 1984, chaps. 4-5.
                         4.   Nick Salvatore,  Eugene V. Debs: Citizen and Socialist.  Urbana:
                              University of Illinois Press, 1982, chap. 5.
                         5.   Eric Foner, "Class, Ethnicity, and Radicalism in the United States:  The
                               Land League and Irish America," Marxist Perspectives 1 (1978), 6-55,
                               reprinted in Foner, Politics and Ideology in the Age of the Civil War.  New
                               York: Oxford University Press, 1980.
                         6.   John Jentz,  "Class and Politics in an Emerging Industrial City: Chicago in
                               the 1860s and 1870s," Journal of Urban History 17 (1991), 227-264.
                         7.   Paul Krause,  The Battle for Homestead, 1880-1892: Politics, Culture, and
                               Steel.  Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1992, Chapter 2 and Part 6.
                         8.   Herbert G. Gutman,  "The Workers' Search for Power: Labor in the Gilded
                               Age," in Gutman, Power and Culture: Essays on the American Working
                               Class.  New York: Pantheon, 1987.
                         9.   Richard Schneirov,  �Rethinking the Relation of Labor to the Politics of
                               Urban Social Reform in Late Nineteenth-Century America: The Case of
                               Chicago,� International Labor and Working-Class History 46 (1994), 93-
                               108.
                       10.   Richard Schneirov,  �Political Cultures and the Role of the State in Labor�s
                               Republic: The View from Chicago,� Labor History 32(3) (1991), 376-400.
 

          FILMS: "THE GRAND ARMY OF STARVATION" AND "THE BAYVIEW MASSACRE"

2/16        URBAN WORKERS, THE KNIGHTS OF LABOR, SOCIALISTS, AND
             THE AMERICAN FEDERATION OF LABOR, 1880'S-1890'S

            The great upheaval of the Gilded Age sparked contending labor ideologies and
                    organizations.  How did the Knights, socialists, and trade unionists differ in
                    ideology and appeal?  What does their existence reveal about American society in
                    these years?

            Background (optional)
            Who Built America, chapter 3.

            Resources
                        1.   John H.M. Laslett,  "Samuel Gompers and the Rise of American Business
                               Unionism," in Melvyn Dubofsky and Warren Van Tine, eds., Labor
                               Leaders in America.  Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1987.
                         2.   Richard Oestreicher, "Terrence V. Powderly, the Knights of Labor, and
                               Artisanal Republicanism," in Dubofsky and Van Tine, eds., Labor Leaders
                               in America.
                         3.   H. M. Gitelman, H. M.  "Adolph Strasser and the Origins of Pure
                               and Simple Trade Unionism," Labor History 6 (1965), 71-82, reprinted in
                              Daniel J. Leab, ed., The Labor History Reader.  Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1985.
                        4.    Julie Greene, Pure and Simple Politics: The Amerian Federation of Labor
                               and Political Activism, 1881-1917.  Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998,
                                Introduction and Conclusion.
                         5.   Julie Greene et al., Symposium on Pure and Simple Politics: The American
                               Federation of Labor and Political Activism, 1881-1917, in Labor History
                               40 (May 1999).
                         6.   Kim Voss,  The Making of American Exceptionalism: The Knights of Labor
                                and Class Formation in the Nineteenth Century.  Ithaca: Cornell University
                               Press, 1993, Introduction and Conclusion.
                       7.   Susan Levine, "Labor's True Woman:  Domesticity and Equal Rights in the
                               Knights of Labor," Journal of American History 70 (September 1983),
                               323-339.
                         8.   Stephen Brier, "Interracial Organizing in the West Virginia Coal Industry:
                              The Participation of Black Mine Workers in the Knights of Labor and the
                               United Mine Workers of America, 1880-1894," in Gary Fink, ed., Essays
                               in Southern Labor History.  Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1977.
                         9.   Leon Fink,  "The Uses of Political Power:  Toward a Theory of the Labor
                               Movement in the Era of the Knights of Labor," in Frisch and Walkowitz,
                               eds.,  Working Class America.  Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1983.
 

2/23        ETHNICITY, FAMILY, WORK, UNIONS: 1890'S-1930'S

            This session focuses on the social history of the "new immigrants" who came from
                    Southern and Eastern Europe between the 1890's and 1920's.  How did ethnicity
                    and gender contribute to working-class unity and disunity?  How did families,
                    unions, and other working-class institutions help immigrants adjust to America and
                    new work requirements?

            Background (Optional)
            Who Built America, chapter 4.
                                    -or-
                    James R. Green, The World of the Worker: Labor in Twentieth Century America.
                    New York: Haill and Wang, 1990, chapters 1-3.

            Resources
                 1.   James R. Barrett, "Unity and Fragmentation: Class, Race, and Ethnicity on
                               Chicago's South Side," in Dirk Hoerder, ed.  "Struggle a Hard Battle":
                                Essays on Working-Class Immigrants.  DeKalb:  Northern Illinois
                                University Press, 1986.
                         2.   Paul B. Worthman, "Black Workers and Labor Unions in Birmingham,
                               Alabama, 1897-1904," Labor History 10 (Summer 1969), 375-406.
                         3.   Virginia Yans-McLaughlin, "A Flexible Tradition: South Italian Immigrants
                               Confront a New Work Experience," Journal of Social History 7 (Summer
                               1974), 429-445.
                         4.   Kathy Peiss, "Gender Relations and Working-Class Leisure: New York
                               City, 1880-1920," in Carol Groneman and Mary Beth Norton, eds., "To
                               Toil the Livelong Day": America's Women at Work, 1780-1980.  Ithaca:
                               Cornell University Press, 1987.
                         5.   John J. Bukowczyk, "The Transformation of Working Class Ethnicity:
                              Corporate Control, Americanization, and the Polish Immigrant Middle
                               Class in Bayonne, New Jersey, 1915-1925," Labor History 25 (Winter
                               1984), 53-82.
                         6.   Judith E. Smith, "The Transformation of Family and Community Culture in
                               Immigrant Neighborhoods, 1900-1940," in Herbert G. Gutman and Donald
                              H. Bell, eds., The New England Working Class and the New Labor
                               History.   Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1987.
                         7.   Christopher K. Ansell, and Arthur L. Burris.  �Bosses of the City Unite!
                               Labor Politics and Political Machine Consolidation, 1870-1910,� Studies in
                               American Political Development 11 Spring 1997), 1-43.
                         8.   Lawrence Glickman,   �Inventing the �American Standard of Living�:
                               Gender, Race, and Working-Class Identity, 1880-1925,� Labor History 34
                               (Spring/Summer 1993), 221-235.
                         9.   Nancy L. Green,  �Women and Immigrants in the Sweatshop: Categories
                               of Labor Segmentation Revisited,� Comparative Studies in Society and
                               History 38 (July 1996), 411-433.
                         10.  Georg Leidenberger,  �The Public is the Labor Union: Working-Class
                               Progressivism in Turn-of-the-Century Chicago,� Labor History 36 (Spring
                               1995), 187-210.
                         11.  Maxine Schwartz Seller.  "The Uprising of the Twenty Thousand: Sex,
                               Class, and Ethnicity in the Shirtwaist Makers' Strike of 1909," in Dirk
                               Hoerder, ed., "Struggle a Hard Battle":
                        12.  Julie Greene,  "'The Strike at the Ballot Box': The American Federation of
                               Labor's Entrance into Election Politics, 1906-1909," Labor History 32
                               (Spring 1991), 165-192.
 

3/1         THE IWW AND WOMEN WORKERS, 1900-1919

             In an era of liberal Progressive reform, radical working-class groups, often deeply
                     enmeshed in ethnic subcultures, posed alternative solutions and new challenges to
                     the shaping of America's liberal state.  We explore aspects of this history here.

            Assignment
                  1.   Ardis Cameron, Radicals of the Worst Sort: Laboring Women in
                               Lawrence, Massachusetts, 1860-1912.
                         2.   Joseph R. Conlin, "William D. 'Big Bill' Haywood: The Westerner as Labor
                               Radical," in Dubofsky and Van Tine, eds., Labor Leaders in America.
                        3.    Julie Greene, "Negotiating the State: Frank Walsh and the Transformation
                                of Labor's Political Culture in Progressive America," in Kevin Boyle, ed.,
                                Organized Labor and American Politcs, 1894-1994: The Labor-Liberal
                                Alliance.  Albany: State University of New York Press, 1998, 71-102.

 3/8          THE EMERGENCE OF BLACK URBAN WORKING CLASS:
                     CLEVELAND AS A CASE STUDY

            Assignment
            Kimberly Phillips, Alabama North: African-American Migrants, Community, and
                    Working-Class Activism in Cleveland, 1915-45.

3/15        THE TRANSFORMATION OF WORK IN THE TWENTIETH CENTURY:
             SCIENTIFIC MANAGEMENT AND FORDISM

            Through scientific management and its successors, capitalists have steadily sought
                  to gain more control over work, and to replace human labor with technology.  In
                  various ways, and in such diverse settings as department stores, sweatshops, and
                  factories, workers have created their own work cultures and struggled to maintain
                  some measure of control over their work.  These readings provide some insights
                  into these developments.

                    Resources
                 1.   Brody, David.  "The Rise and Decline of Welfare Capitalism," in Brody,
                       Workers in Industrial America: Essays on the 20th Century Struggle, 2nd
                                ed.  New York: Oxford University Press, 1993.
                         2.   David Montgomery, "Whose Standards? Workers and the Reorganization
                               of Production in the United States, 1900-20," in Montgomery, Workers'
                               Control in America.
                         3.    Patricia Cooper, "Women Workers, Work Culture, and Collective Action
                               in the American Cigar Industry, 1900-1919," in Charles Stephenson and
                               Robert Asher, eds., Life and Labor: Dimensions of American Working-
                               Class History.  Albany: SUNY Press, 1986.
                         4.    Susan Porter Benson, "'The Customers Ain't God': The Work Culture of
                               Department-Store Saleswomen, 1890-1940," in Frisch and Walkowitz,
                               eds.,  Working Class America.
                         5.    Hugh G. J. Aitken, Scientific Management in Action: Taylorism at
                               Watertown Arsenal, 1908-1915.  Princeton: Princeton University Press,
                               [1960] 1985, chap. 3.
                         6.   David F. Noble, "Social Choice in Machine Production: The Case of
                               Automated Controlled Machine Tools," in Andrew Zimbalist, ed., Case
                               Studies on the Labor Process.  New York: Monthly Review Press, 1979.
                         7.   Patricia Cooper, "The Faces of Gender: Sex Segregation and Work
                               Relations at Philco, 1928-1938," in Baron, ed., Work Engendered.

3/22            SPRING BREAK

3/29        FROM THE LEAN YEARS TO THE WAGNER ACT: 1919-1935

            Workers and unions suffered crunching defeats in widespread strikes in 1919.
                  Employers adopted welfare capitalism and other measures to keep unions out
                  permanently.  Bleak times for workers in the 1920's became worse as the
                  Depression set it. The Wagner Act (1935) sought to save capitalism by helping
                  workers.

            Background (Optional)
            Who Built America, chapters 5-7.
                              -or-
                 Green, The World of the Worker, chapter 4.
                                    -or-
                  Robert Zieger, American Workers, American Unions, 2nd ed.  Baltimore:
                  Johns Hopkins University Press, [1984] 1994, chapters 1-2.

            Resources
                 1.   Steve Fraser, "From the 'New Unionism' to the New Deal," Labor History
                         25 (Summer 1984), 405-430.
                 2.   David Brody,   "The Rise and Decline of Welfare Capitalism," in Brody,
                       Workers in Industrial America.
                 3.   Roy Rosenzweig, "Organizing the Unemployed: The Early Years of the
                       Great Depression, 1929-1933," Radical America 10 (1976), 37-62.
                 4.   Delores Janiewski, "Seeking 'a New Day and a New Way': Black Women
                       and Unions in the Southern Tobacco Industry," in Groneman and Norton,
                       eds., "To Toil the Livelong Day".
                 5.   Elizabeth Faue, "Paths of Unionization: Community, Bureaucracy, and
                       Gender in the Minneapolis Labor Movement of the 1930s," in Baron, ed.,
                       Work Engendered.
                 6.   Christopher M. Sterba,   �Family, Work, and Nation: Hazelton,
                        Pennsylvania, and the 1934 General Strike in Textiles,� Pennsylvania
                        Magazine of History and Biography 120 (January/April 1996), 3-35.
                7.   Rosalinda M. Gonzalez, "Chicanas and Mexican Immigrant Families 1920-7
                       1940: Women's Subordination and Family Exploitation," in Lois Scharf and
                       John M. Jensen, eds., Decades of Discontent: The Women's Movement.
                       Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1983.
                8.   Darryl Holter, "Sources of CIO Success: The New Deal Years in
                      Milwaukee," Labor History 29 (Spring 1988), 199-224.

            FILM:  "THE UPRISING OF '34"

4/5        THE RISE OF MASS PRODUCTION UNIONISM AND A NEW DEAL
             FOR WORKERS

                 The Wagner Act gave unions and workers legal authority organize mass
                  production industries, while Roosevelt's New Deal brought millions of workers
                  into the Democratic Party.  But as Liz Cohen suggests in the main reading for this
                  week, other forces also contributed to working-class victories in the 1930's.

            Background (Optional)
            Who Built America, chapter 8.
                                   -or-
                   Green, The World of the Worker, chapter 5.
                                    -or-
                   Zieger, American Workers, American Unions, chapter 2.

            Assignment
            Lizabeth Cohen, Making a New Deal.

            FILM: "MEAN THINGS HAPPENING"

4/12        WORKING-CLASS IDEOLOGY IN THE 1930S AND 1940S

                  The 1930s was a pivotal decade in American history.  What do we make of it?
                  How radical were working-class demands?  What influence did radical elements
                  within the labor movement have on shaping goals and objectives?  Why weren't
                  more workers radical? This week's readings raise--and answer--these and related
                  questions.  They also address another problem.  Many historians argue that
                  workers and organized labor became more ensnared in the state apparatus, and
                  became more conservative politically, during the war. Some of the readings
                  below�and some for next week�explore this theme too.

             Resources
             *Means all should read.

               *1.     Melvyn Dubofsky, "Not So 'Turbulent Years': A New Look at the 1930s,"
                         in Stephenson and Asher, eds., Life and Labor.
              *2.      Bruce Nelson, �Radical Years: Working-Class Consciousness on the
                         Waterfront in the 1930's,� in Eileen Boris and Nelson Lichtenstein, eds.,
                         Major Problems in the History of American Workers (Lexington, KY:
                          D.C. Heath, 1991), 387-407.
             *3.       John Bodnar, "Immigration, Kinship, and the Rise of Working-Class
                        Realism in Industrial America," Journal of Social History 14 (Fall 1980),
                         45-65.
             *4.      David Brody, �Thinking about Industrial Unionism,� in Brody, Workers in
                        Industrial America: Essays on the 20th Century Struggle (New York:
                        Oxford University Press, 1993), 120-156.
            *5.       Richard Oestreicher, "Urban Working Class Political Behavior and
                        Theories of American Electoral Politics, 1870-1945," Journal of American
                         History 74 (March 1988), 1257-1286.
             6.         Nelson N. Lichtenstein, Labor�s War at Home: The CIO and World War
                         II.  Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1982, chapters 1 and 2.
             7.        David Montgomery, "American Workers and the New Deal Formula," in
                         Montgomery, Workers' Control in America.
              8.       Sharon Hartman Strom, "Challenging 'Woman's Place': Feminism, the Left,
                        and Industrial Unionism During the 1930s," Feminist Studies 9 (Summer
                        1983), 359-386.
              9.       Martin Halpern, "Taft-Hartley and the Defeat of the Progressive
                        Alternative in the United Auto Workers," Labor History 27 (Spring 1986),
                        204-226.
            10.       Howard Kimeldorf, "World War II and the Deradicalization of American
                        Labor: The ILWU as a Deviant Case," Labor History 33 (Spring 1992),
                        248-278.
            11.       Ronald Schatz, "Philip Murray and the Subordination of the Industrial
                        Unions to the United States Government," in Dubofsky and Van Tine, eds.,
                        Labor Leaders in America.
           12.       Torigian, Michael.  "National Unity on the Waterfront: Communist Politics
                        and the ILWU During the Second World War," Labor History 30 (Summer
                        1989), 409-532.

4/19        WORLD WAR II, WOMEN AND BLACK WORKERS, AND THE
             POSTWAR COMPROMISE

            The war opened up new opportunities for women and blacks to obtain jobs, but
                  discrimination remained at work and elsewhere.  The readings explore what
                  happened to black and white men and women, and how they created new
                  opportunities for themselves (or didn't) after wartime jobs vanished.  They also
                  discuss the ideological basis for the so-called �postwar compromise� in which
                  workers allegedly traded promises of good wages, stable jobs, and union
                  recognition for radical changes in America.

            Background (optional)
            Who Built America, chapter 9.
                              -or-
                  Green, The World of the Worker, chapter 6.
                                    -or-
                  Zieger, American Workers, American Unions, chapters 3-5.
 

            Resources
                 1.   Karen Anderson, "Last Hired, First Fired: Black Women Workers During
                               World War II," Journal of American History 69 (June 1982), 82-97.
                        2.   Dennis Dickerson, "Fighting on the Domestic Front: Black Steelworkers
                               during World War II," in Stephenson and Asher, eds., Life and Labor.
                         3.   Nancy F. Gabin, "Women Workers and the UAW in the Post-World War II
                               Period: 1945-1954," Labor History 21 (Winter 1979-1980), 5-30.
                         4.   Jacqueline Dowd Hall,  "Disorderly Women: Gender and Labor Militancy
                               in the Appalachian South," Journal of American History 73 (September
                               1986), 354-382.
                         5.   Ruth Milkman, Redefining 'Women's Work': The Sexual Division of Labor
                               in the Auto Industry During World War II," Feminist Studies 8 (Summer
                               1982), 337-372.
                         6.   Randy Albelda, "'Nice Work If You Can Get It': Segmentation of White
                               and Black Women Workersin the Post-War Period," Review of Radical
                               Political Economics 17 (Fall 1985), 72-85.
                         7.   Horace Huntley,  "The Red Scare and Black Workers in Alabama: The
                               International Union of Mine, Mill, and Smelter Workers, 1945-1953," in
                               Asher and Stephenson, eds., Labor Divided.
                         8.   Sharon Hartman Strom,  "'We're No Kitty Foyles': Organizing Office
                               Workers for the Congress of Industrial Organizations, 1937-50," in
                               Milkman, ed., Women, Work, and Protest.
                         9.   Robert A. Nisbet, "The Decline and Fall of Social Class," Pacific
                               Sociological Review 2 (Spring 1959), 11-17.
                       10.  Nelson Lichtenstein, "Walter Reuther and the Rise of Labor-Liberalism," in
                               Dubofsky and Van Tine, eds., Labor Leaders in America.
                        11.  James W. Rinehart, "Affluence and Embourgeoisment of the Working
                               Class: A Critical Look," Social Problems 19 (Fall 1971), 149-161.
                        12.  Blumberg, Paul.  Inequality in an Age of Decline.  Oxford: Oxford
                               University Press, 1980, chap. 1.
                        13.. George Lipsitz, Class and Culture in Cold War America: A Rainbow at
                               Midnight.  New York: Praeger, 1981, chaps. 1, 7-10.
                        14.  Gary Gerstle, "Catholic Corporatism, French Canadian Workers, and
                               Industrial Unionism in Rhode Island, 1938-1956," in Asher and
                               Stephenson, eds., Labor Divided.
                  15.  Stephen Amberg, "The CIO Political Strategy in Historical Perspective:
                               Creating a High-Road Economy in the Post-War Era," in Kevin Boyle, ed.,
                               Organized Labor and American politics, 1894-1994, 159-194.
 

4/26        THE COLLAPSE OF URBAN WORKING-CLASS AMERICA: A CASE
               STUDY

            Assignment
            Thomas Sugrue, The Origins of the Urban Crisis: Race and Inequality in Postwar
                    Detroit.

5/3        NEW WORKERS AND CONCERNS SINCE THE 1960'S

            Segmented labor markets, union decline, deindustrialization,  and changes in
                  working-class composition and consciousness have shaped American labor history
                  over the last three decades.  Some glimmer of these developments is found in this
                  week's readings.

            Background (Optional)
            Who Built America, chapters 10-12.
                                  -or-
                Green, The World of the Worker, chapter 7.
                                        -or-
                Zieger, American Workers, American Unions, chapters 6-7.

            Resources
                 1.   David Brody, "The Uses of Power I: Industrial Battleground," "The Uses
                               of Power II: Political Action," and "A Movement in Crisis," in Brody,
                       Workers in Industrial America.
                         2.   Rick Fantasia, Cultures of Solidarity: Consciousness, Action, and
                               Contemporary American Workers.  Berkeley: University of California
                               Press, 1988, chap. 1.
                         3.   Vicki L. Ruiz, "By the Day or the Week: Mexicana Domestic Workers in
                               El Paso," in Groneman and Norton, eds., "To Toil the
                               Livelong Day"
                        4.   Cletus E. Daniel, "Cesar Chavez and the Unionization of California Farm
                               Workers, "in Dubofsky and Van Tine, eds., Labor Leaders in America.
                         5.   Robert Korstad, and Nelson Lichtenstein.  "Opportunities Lost and Found:
                               Labor, Radicals, and the Early Civil Rights Movement," Journal of
                               American History 75 (December 1988), 786-811.
                        6.   Elizabeth Weiner, and Hardy Green.  "A Stitch in Our Time: New York's
                               Hispanic Garment Workers in the 1980s," in Jensen and Davidson, eds., A
                       Needle, A Bobbin, A Strike.
                         7.   Robert Asher,  "Organized Labor and the Origins of the Occupational
                               Safety and Health Act," Labor's Heritage 3 (1991), 54-76.
                         8.   Robert A. Slayton,  �Labor and Urban Politics: District 31, Steel Workers
                               Organizing Committee, and the Chicago Machine,� Journal of Urban
                               History 23 (November 1996), 29-65.
                         9.   Matt Witt, and Rand Wilson,  �The Teamsters� UPS Strike of 1997:
                               Building a New Labor Movement,� Labor Studies Journal 24 (Spring
                               1999), 58-72.
                  10.  Kevin Boyle, "Little More Than Ashes: The UAW and American
                                Reform in the 1960s," in Boyle, ed., Organized Labor and American
                                Politics, 1894-1994, 217-238.

 5/10        THE FUTURE OF AMERICAN WORKERS AND WORKING-CLASS
                HISTORY

            Assignment:
            Stanley Aronowitz,  From the Ashes of the Old: American Labor and America's
                    Future.

                   DUE: PAPERS
 
 

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