This book, designed to give a survey history of American labor from colonial times to the present, is uniquely well suited to speak to the concerns of today’s teachers and students. As issues of growing inequality, stagnating incomes, declining unionization, and exacerbated job insecurity have increasingly come to define working life over the last 20 years, a new generation of students and teachers is beginning to seek to understand labor and its place and ponder seriously its future in American life. Like its predecessors, this ninth edition of our classic survey of American labor is designed to introduce readers to the subject in an engaging, accessible way.
List of Figures ix List of Abbreviations xiii Acknowledgments xv Preface xvii 1 Conditions of Labor in Colonial America 1 Life and Labor in the Colonies 8 Workers, Politics, and Revolution 15 2 Varieties of Worker Resistance and the Emergence of the First Unions 19 The Origins of Worker Organization 20 Early Unions 24 Law versus Labor 28 The Growth of Labor Organization 30 3 The Growth of the Market and Labor’s Response 33 Workingmen’s Parties 34 Leadership 38 Political Action 42 4 Labor Organizing in the 1830s 47 Union Growth 48 A National Labor Movement? 50 An Urge to Strike 51 An Employer Counterattack 54 The National Trades’ Union 56 The Decline of Unionism 60 5 Free Labor in an Emerging Industrial Economy 62 Industrialism, Technological Change, and Reform 67 Rebuilding a Union Movement 75 The Coming of War 77 6 Toward National Organization 81 The National Labor Union 87 The NLU and Social Reform 92 Depression and Union Decline 95 7 An Era of Upheaval 97 Unrest and Conflict 98 The Great Railroad Strikes 101 The Haymarket Square Riot 104 8 The Rise and Decline of the Knights of Labor 107 The Origins of the Knights of Labor 108 The Rise of the Knights 117 The Decline of the Knights 122 9 The American Federation of Labor 126 The Triumph of Business Unionism 126 Samuel Gompers and the New Union Model 128 The Emergence of the AFL 132 The Principles and Policies of the AFL 135 10 Labor Conflict and Economic Crisis in the 1890s 139 Worker Resistance and Industrial Conflict 140 Labor, Populism, and Socialism 151 Labor at Ebb Tide 153 11 The Labor Question in the Progressive Era 155 Employers and Unions Experiment with Accommodation 157 The Anthracite Coal Strike of 1902 158 The Employers Fight Back 163 AFL Political Action and a Nascent Labor–Democratic Alliance 167 Organizing Immigrant Workers 173 12 The Rise and Repression of Labor Radicalism 177 The Rise of the IWW 178 The Spirit of the IWW 181 The Lawrence Strike 183 The Decline, Repression, and Lasting Legacy of the IWW 186 13 The Great War's Ambiguous Legacy 191 Postwar Labor Upheaval 195 The Last Throes of Postwar Labor Militancy, 1919 to 1922 202 14 Economic Change and Union Retreat in the 1920s 206 The American Plan and the Open Shop 209 Welfare Capitalism 213 The Failure of Insurgent Politics, 1922 to 1924 216 The AFL after Gompers 218 The Demoralization of Organized Labor 220 15 The New Deal 223 Section 7(a) and the Revival of Organizing 223 The Wagner Act 230 The New Deal Political Order 233 16 The Rise of the Congress of Industrial Organizations 242 John L. Lewis and the CIO 245 The Impact of the CIO 257 17 Labor and the New Deal State 264 War, Lewis, and the Election of 1940 269 18 World War II 279 The NWLB and Labor Politics 289 Wartime Racial Conflict 293 The Postwar Strike Wave, 1945 and 1946 295 A New Industrial Relations System 300 19 Retrenchment, Cold War, and Consolidation, 1946 to 1955 302 Labor, Taft-Hartley, and Politics 305 The Purge of Labor’s Left Wing 312 A United Labor Movement 314 AFL-CIO: A “Sleepy Monopoly” 319 20 Turbulent Years, 1955 to 1972 321 The Onset of Organized Labor’s Decline 321 Corruption and Deepening Conflict 324 Automation and Alienation 330 Labor, Civil Rights, and the Great Society 334 The Rise of Public Employee Unionism 339 War and Division 341 21 The Great Reversal: Workers and Unions, 1973 to 1994 344 Economic Crisis and Its Aftermath 344 Restructuring the Labor Force 346 The Rise of Conservative Politics and Neoliberal Policy 350 The Emerging Crisis of Unionism 359 Harbingers of Deepening Crisis: Mass Production and Transportation 365 22 Workers and Unions at the Millennium 369 Rising Resistance and Its Limitations 369 A Change of Direction for Labor 373 Economic Troubles, Political Setbacks, and War 376 Improvising in Difficult Times 380 Walmart, the “Fissured Workplace,” and Weakened Regulation 382 Dissension, Schism, and Political Breakthrough 386 23 A Precarious Moment 393 Bailouts, Job Insecurity, and Lowered Labor Standards 394 Toward an Unequal Society 397 The Obama Presidency’s Mixed Legacy 399 A Renewed Assault on Unions and Collective Bargaining 404 Death Throes or Birth Pangs? 406 Epilogue: An Uncharted Path 413 Further Reading 416 Index 447
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