Resources on Late Nineteenth-Century Labor History
I. Background Reading
· Melvyn Dubofsky, Industrialization and the American Worker, 1865-1920, 3rd ed. (Harlan Davidson, 1996). A well-written introductory college-level text that provides a good introduction to major themes in the labor history of the era of industrialization.
· American Social History Project, Who Built America? Working People and the Nation's Economy, Politics, Culture, and Society, Vol. 2, Since 1877 (Worth Publishers, 2000). A massive textbook that examines both working class social history as well as the history of the labor movement.
· Herbert G. Gutman, "Work, Culture, and Society in Industrializing America, 1815-1919," in Work, Culture, and Society in Industrializing America (Alfred A. Knopf, 1976). An annoyingly jargon-filled article that revolutionized the field of labor history by focusing attention on the cultural transition from pre-industrial to industrial society.
· Elizabeth Ewen, Immigrant Women in the Land of Dollars: Life and Culture on the Lower East Side, 1890-1925 (Monthly Review Press, 1985). An interesting study of the transition from pre-industrial to industrial society as experienced by Italian and Jewish immigrant women in New York City.
· Joe William Trotter, Black Milwaukee: The Making of an Industrial Proletariat, 1915-45 (University of Illinois Press, 1985). A study of the process by which black migrants from the South were transformed from sharecroppers into modern industrial workers.
· 1877: The Grand Army of Starvation (New York: Cineffects Videotape, 1984). A riveting account of the Great Railroad Strike of 1877, the most violent episode of labor strife in American History, which left over one hundred people dead. Places the event in a broader social context.
· The Bayview Massacre of 1886 (Wisconsin Labor History Society, 1986). A brief film on the Bayview Massacre, in which Wisconsin State Militia opened fire on workers demanding the eight hour day.
III. Other Resources
· Darryl Holter, Workers and Unions in Wisconsin: A Labor History Anthology (State History Society of Wisconsin, 1999). A collection of short accessible pieces, many of which have a local focus.
· Wisconsin Labor History Society Website (www.wisconsinlaborhistory.org). Includes an extensive bibliography of published materials on Wisconsin labor history.
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