U.S. Labor History
Adviser: Nancy MacLean
American Social History Project. Who Built America?: Working People and the Nation’s Economy, Politics, Culture, and Society. Pantheon Books: New York, 1992. Two volumes.
Kessler-Harris, Alice. Out to Work: A History of Wage-Earning Women in the United States. New York: Oxford University Press, 1982.
US Labor History
Colonies to Abolition
Blewett, Mary. Men, Women, and Work: Class, Gender, and Protest in the New England Shoe Industry, 1780-1910. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1988.
Boydston, Jeanne. Home and Work: Housework, Wages, and the Ideology of Labor in the Early Republic. New York: Oxford University Press, 1990.
Clark, Christopher. The Roots of Rural Capitalism: Western Massachusetts, 1780-1860. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1990.
Dawley, Alan. Class and Community: The Industrial Revolution in Lynn. Cambridge: Harbard University Press, 1976.
Genovese, Eugene D. The Political Economy of Slavery: Studies in the Economy and Society of the Slave South. New York: Pantheon Books, 1965.
Johnson, Walter. “The Pedelstal and the Veil: Rethinking the Capitalism/Slavery Question.” Journal of the Early Republic 24.2 (2004): 299-308.
Kulikoff, Allan. The Agrarian Origins of American Capitalism. Charlottsville: University Press of Virginia, 1992.
Rockman, Seth. Scraping By: Wage Labor, Slavery, and Survival in Early Baltimore. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2009.
Roediger, David. The Wages of Whiteness: Race and the Making of the American Working Class. New York: Verso, 1991.
Sellers, Charles. The Market Revolution: Jacksonian America, 1815-1846. New York: Oxford University Press, 1991.
Tomlins, Christopher. Law, Labor, and Ideology in the Early American Republic. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1993.
Ulrich, Laurel Thatcher. A Midwife's Tale: The Life of Martha Ballard, Based on Her Diary, 1785-1812. New York: Random House, 1990.
Way, Peter. Common Labour: Workers and the Digging of North American Canals, 1780-1860. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1993.
Wilentz, Sean. Chants Democratic: New York City and the Rise of the American Working Class, 1788-1850. London, UK New York: Oxford University Press, 2004.
Williams, Eric. Capitalism & Slavery. New York: G.P. Putnam, 1944.
Emancipation to World War I
Andrews, Thomas. Killing for Coal: America's Deadliest Labor War. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press, 2008.
Beckert, Sven. "Emancipation and Empire: Reconstructing the Worldwide Web of Cotton Production in the Age of the American Civil War." American Historical Review 109 (2004): 1405-1438.
Brody, David. Steelworkers in America; the Nonunion Era. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1960.
Case, Theresa Ann. The Great Southwest Railroad Strike and Free Labor. College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 2010.
Deutsch, Sarah. No Separate Refuge: Culture, Class, and Gender on an Anglo-Hispanic Frontier in the American Southwest, 1880-1940. New York: Oxford University Press, 1987.
Du Bois, WEB. Black Reconstruction: An Essay Toward a History of the Part which Black Folk played in the Attempt to Reconstruct Democracy in America, 1860-1880. New York: Harcourt, Brace, & Company, 1935.
Foner, Eric. Reconstruction: America's Unfinished Revolution, 1863-1877. New York: Harper & Rowe, 1988.
Gerteis, Joseph. Class and the Color Line: Interracial Class Coalition in the Knights of Labor and the Populist Movement. Durham: Duke University Press, 2007.
Glymph, Thavolia. Out of the House of Bondage: The Transformation of the Plantation Household. Cambridge: New York University Press, 2008.
Goodwyn, Lawrence. Democratic Promise: The Populist Moment in America. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976.
Green, James R. Grass-Roots Socialism: Radical Movements in the Southwest, 1895-1943. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1978.
Hahn, Steven. The Roots of Southern Populism: Yeoman Farmers and the Transformation of the Georgia Upcountry, 1850-1890. New York: Oxford University Press, 1983.
___. A Nation Under Our Feet: Black Political Struggles in the Rural South from Slavery to the Great Migration. Cambridge, Mass: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2003.
Higbie, Frank Tobias. Indispensable Outcasts: Hobo Workers and Community in the American Midwest, 1880-1930. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2003.
Jaynes, Gerald. Branches Without Roots: Genesis of the Black Working Class in the American South, 1862-1882. New York: Oxford University Press, 1987.
Jones, William P. The Tribe of Black Ulysses: African American Lumber Workers in the Jim Crow South. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2005.
Jung, Moon-Ho. Coolies and Cane: Race, Labor, and Sugar in the Age of Emancipation. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2006.
Montgomery, David. The Fall of the House of Labor: The Workplace, the State, and American Labor Activism, 1865-1925. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1987.
Ngai, Mae. Impossible Subjects: Illegal Aliens and the Making of Modern America. Princeton, N.J: Princeton University Press, 2004.
Peck, Gunther. Reinventing Free Labor: Padrones and Immigrant Workers in the North American West, 1880-1930. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2000.
Postel, Charles. The Populist Vision. Oxford New York: Oxford University Press, 2007.
Sanders, Elizabeth. Roots of Reform: Farmers, Workers, and the American State, 1877-1917. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1999.
Saxton, Alexander. The Indispensable Enemy: Labor and the Anti-Chinese Movement in California. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1971.
Cohen, Lizabeth. Making a New Deal: Industrial Workers in Chicago, 1919-1939. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1990.
Daniel, Pete. The Shadow of Slavery: Peonage in the South, 1901-1969. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1972.
___. Breaking the Land: The Transformation of Cotton, Tobacco, and Rice Cultures since 1880. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1986.
Grandin, Greg. Fordlandia: The Rise and Fall of Henry Ford's Forgotten Jungle City. New York: Metropolitan Books, 2009.
Gregory, James. The Southern Diaspora: How the Great Migrations of Black and White Southerners Transformed America. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2005.
Grubs, Donald H. Cry from the Cotton: The Southern Tenant Farmers' Union and the New Deal. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1971.
Hahamovitch, Cindy. The Fruits of their Labor: Atlantic Coast Farmworkers and the Making of Migrant Poverty, 1870-1945. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1997.
Kelley, Robin D. G. Hammer and Hoe: Alabama Communists during the Great Depression. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1990.
Korstad, Robert. Civil Rights Unionism: Tobacco Workers and the Struggle for Democracy in the Mid-Twentieth-Century South. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2003.
Lichtenstein, Nelson. Labor's War at Home: The CIO in World War II. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1982.
Lipman, Jana K. Guantanamo: A Working-Class History between Empire and Revolution. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2009.
McCartin, Joseph A. Labor's Great War: The Struggle for Industrial Democracy and the Origins of Modern American Labor Relations, 1912-1921. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1997.
Montgomery, David. Workers’ Control in America: Studies in the History of Work, Technology, and Labor Struggles. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1979.
Roll, Jarod. Spirit of Rebellion: Labor and Religion in the New Cotton South. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2010.
Sullivan, Patricia. Days of Hope: Race and Democracy in the New Deal Era. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1996.
Woodruff, Nan Elizabeth. American Congo: The African American Freedom Struggle in the Delta. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2003.
Post-War Labor and Working-Class History
Bardacke, Frank. Trampling Out the Vintage: Cesar Chavez and the Two Souls of the United Farm Workers. New York: Verso, 2011.
Camacho, Alicia Schmidt. Migrant Imaginaries: Latino Cultural Politics in the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands. New York: New York University Press, 2008.
Cobble, Dorothy Sue. The Other Women's Movement: Workplace Justice and Social Rights in Modern America. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2004.
Cowie, Jefferson. Capital Moves: RCA's Seventy-Year Quest for Cheap Labor. New York: W.W. Norton, 2001.
___. Stayin' Alive: The 1970s and the Last Days of the Working Class. New York: New Press, 2010.
Fink, Leon. Workingmen's Democracy: The Knights of Labor and American Politics. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1983.
___. The Maya of Morganton: Work and Community in the Nuevo New South. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2003.
Fones-Wolf, Elizabeth. Selling Free Enterprise: The Business Assault on Labor and Liberalism. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1994.
Friedman, Tami J. “Exploiting the North-South Differential: Corporate Power, Southern Politics, and the Decline of Organized Labor after World War II.” Journal of American History 95 (2008): 323-348.
Gonzalez, Juan. Harvest of Empire: A History of Latinos in America. New York: Penguin Books, 2000.
Hahamovitch, Cindy. No Man's Land: Jamaican Guestworkers in America and the Global History of Deportable Labor. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2011.
Hall, Jacquelyn Dowd. “The Long Civil Rights Movement and the Political Uses of the Past.” The Journal of American History 91, no. 4 (2005): 1233-1263.
Jonas, Andrew E. G. "Labor and Community in the Deindustrialization of Urban America." Journal of Urban Affairs 17 (June, 1995): 183-199.
Jones, William P. “The Unknown Origins of the March on Washington: Civil Rights Politics and the Black Working Class,” Labor: Studies in Working-Class History of the Americas 7.3 (2012): 33-52.
Lichtenstein, Nelson. State of the Union: A Century of American Labor. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2002.
MacLean, Nancy. Freedom is Not Enough: The Opening of the American Work Place. New York Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press, 2006.
Minchin, Timothy J. What Do We Need a Union For?: The TWUA in the South, 1945-1955. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1997.
Moreton, Bethany. To Serve God and Wal-Mart: The Making of Christian Free Enterprise. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press, 2009.
Murch, Donna Jean. Living for the City: Migration, Education, and the Rise of the Black Panther Party in Oakland, California. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2010.
Striffler, Steve. Chicken: The Dangerous Transformation of America's Favorite Food. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2007.
Sugrue, Thomas J. The Origins of the Urban Crisis: Race and Inequality in Postwar Detroit. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1996.
Thompson, Heather Ann. “Why Mass Incarceration Matters: Rethinking Crisis, Decline, and Transformation in Postwar American History.” The Journal of American History 97.3 (December 2010): 703-734.
These readings did not make it into my historiographical paper, but are necessary for understanding the longer arc of American labor and working-class history. They include certain books about the New World from contact to the Revolutionary era and comparative works in Latin American labor history.
Labor History in the US: Colones to Revolution
Brown, Kathleen. Good Wives, Nasty Wenches, and Anxious Patriarchs: Gender, Race, and Power in Colonial Virginia. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1996.
Greene, Jack. Pursuits of Happiness: The Social Development of Early Modern British Colonies and the Formation of American Culture. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1988.
Holton, Woody. Unruly Americans and the Origins of the Constitution. New York: Hill and Wang, 2007.
Kulikoff, Allan. Tobacco and Slaves: The Development of Southern Cultures in the Chesapeake, 1680-1800. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1986.
Linebaugh, Peter. The Many-Headed Hydra: Sailors, Slaves, Commoners, and the Hidden History of the Revolutionary Atlantic. Boston: Beacon, 2000.
Middleton, Simon David. From Privileges to Rights: Work and Politics in Colonial New York City. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2006.
Morgan, Edmund. American Slavery, American Freedom: The Ordeal of Colonial Virginia. New York: Norton, 1975.
Nash, Gary B. The Urban Crucible: Social Change, Political Consciousness, and the Origins of the American Revolution. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1979.
Rediker, Marcus. Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea: Merchant Seamen, Pirates, and the Anglo-American Maritime World, 1700-1750. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1987.
Wood, Peter. Black Majority: Negroes in Colonial South Carolina from 1670 through the Stono Rebellion. New York: Knopf, 1974.
Labor History Latin America
This field included an introduction into Latin American labor historiography for comparative and transnational purposes. Although the historiographical theme eventually changed enough to not require these titles, those I completed are listed here for posterity.
Alexander, Robert J. Labor Relations in Argentina, Brazil, and Chile. New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1962.
Bergquist, Charles W. Labor in Latin America: Comparative Essays on Chile, Argentina, Venezuela, and Columbia. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1986.
Bucheli, Marcelo and Crespo, Horacio. From Silver to Cocaine: Latin American Commodity Chains and the Building of the World Economy, 1500-2000. Durham: Duke University Press, 2006.
Chasteen, John Charles. Born in Blood & Fire: A Concise History of Latin America. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2001.
Chomsky, Aviva. West Indian Workers and the United Fruit Company in Costa Rica, 1870-1940. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1996.
Elliot, J.H. Empires of the Atlantic World: Britain and Spain in America, 1492-1830. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2006.
French, John D. "The Latin American Labor Studies Boom." International Review of Social History 45 (2000): 279-308.
___. "The Laboring and Middle-Class Peoples of Latin America and the Caribbean: Historical Trajectories and New Research Directions." Global Labour History (2008): 289-333.
McCreery, David. The Sweat of Their Brow: A History of Work in Latin America. Armonk, M.E. Sharpe, 2000.
Middlebrook, Kevin. The Paradox of Revolution: Labor, the State, and Authoritarianism in Mexico. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1995.
Nash, Manning. Machine Age Maya: The Industrialization of a Guatemalan Community. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1967.
Spalding, Hobart. Organized Labor in Latin America: Historical Case Studies of Workers in Dependent Societies. New York: New York University Press, 1977.
Stern, Steve J. "Feudalism, Capitalism, and the World-System in the Perspective of Latin America and the Caribbean: 'Ever More Solitary.'” The American Historical Review 93 (October, 1988): 886-897.
van der Linden, Marcel. "Transnationalizing American Labor History." The Journal of American History 86, no. 3 (1999): pp. 1078-1092.
Ryan M. Poe Reading List, Labor History in the Americas