The Voice of the People Primary Sources on the History of American Labor, Industrial Relations, and Working-Class Culture

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2004-01-19
  • Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell

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The first all-primary source reader in labour history published in nearly 100 years. This book presents excerpts from 54 primary sources to blend labour history's traditional focus on the growth of a union movement with windows into all aspects of workers' lives -- their workplaces, unions, home lives and culture -- the engaging sections mirroring the great diversity of the American workforce from their colonial era to the present. Arranged into 4 parts, each of which begins with an original overview of the corresponding period in American history, this unique compilation of edited documents -- each of which is preceded by a contextual introduction -- offers students the opportunity to explore for themselves how specific events as well as general trends in American labourers, slaves, servants, mill hands, prostitutes, assembly-line workers, office temps, fast-food employees, or union leaders. While its organisation and diverse range make it an excellent companion to the publisher's popular 'Labor in America' this book can also stand alone or serve as an engaging supplement for any course in labour or US history.

Author Biography

Jonathan Rees is Associate Professor of History at Colorado State University -- Pueblo Jonathan Z. S. Pollack is currently Instructor of History at Madison Area Technical College

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. IX
Introductionp. XI
To 1877p. 1
Work and Labor / Management Relationsp. 5
William Bradford Recounts the Social Development of Plymouth Plantation, ca. 1647p. 7
Hugh Jones on White Indentured Servitude in Virginia, 1724p. 10
Charles Ball Describes a Typical Day on a Slave Plantationp. 13
Harriet Farley, "Letter from Susan," 1844p. 16
Mark Twain on the Chinese Population of Virginia City, Nevada, 1872p. 21
The Union Movementp. 25
William Otter Recalls His Unsuccessful Career as an Apprentice, 1835p. 26
William Manning's Plan for a "Labouring Society," 1798p. 30
Recruiting Song of the Journeymen Cordwainers, ca. 1790p. 33
Wendell Phillips Compares Northern Workers and Slaves, 1865p. 36
"Address of the National Labor Union to the People of the United States," 1870p. 39
Working-Class Culturep. 43
Anonymous Account of the Astor Place Riot, 1849p. 44
Samuel Gompers Describes Cigar Rolling in His Autobiographyp. 49
Elizabeth Keckley Explains Why She Fought Backp. 53
James Burn on Work, Community, and Mobility in Civil War Americap. 58
1877-1914p. 63
Work and Labor / Management Relationsp. 67
Clarence Darrow Considers the Labor Question, 1898p. 69
John Spargo Examines Child Labor in the Glassmaking Industry, 1906p. 73
Grace Potter Reports on Industrial Accidents in Niagara Falls, New York, 1913p. 78
Machinist Orrin Cheney Testifies to Congress on the Taylor System of Shop Management, 1911p. 83
The Union Movementp. 87
Initiation Ceremony of the Knights of Labor, ca. 1880p. 88
Anonymous, "Lines on the Homestead Riots: Wednesday, July 6th, 1892"p. 92
"Junius" Opposes American Imperialism, ca. 1898p. 96
Pearl Jolly Recalls the Ludlow Massacre, 1916p. 100
Working-Class Culturep. 105
An Agent for the United States Immigration Commission Describes the Working Life of Prostitutes, ca. 1909p. 106
Margaret Byington Studies the Diet of Steelworkers and Their Families, 1910p. 110
Werner Sombart Analyzes "The Democratic Style of Public Life in America," 1906p. 114
Joe Hill, "The Preacher and the Slave," 1911p. 117
Francis H. McClean Reports on the Amusements of the Bowery, 1899p. 119
1914-1945p. 123
Work and Labor / Management Relationsp. 127
Mrs. L. L. Ray Outlines Welfare Capitalism in a New York Department Store, 1911p. 129
Whiting Williams Endures Long Hours Working in a Steel Mill, 1921p. 132
Paul Taylor on the "American-Mexican Frontier"p. 136
Evelyn Gotzion Recalls Factory Work during World War IIp. 139
Mervyn Rathbone Testifies in Defense of the National Labor Relations Act, 1939p. 143
The Union Movementp. 147
Elizabeth Gurley Flynn Justifies Sabotage, 1916p. 148
Harvey O'Connor Remembers the Seattle General Strike, 1919p. 151
A. J. Muste Mourns Slain Textile Workers, 1929p. 157
Howard Kester on the Rout of the Southern Tenant Farmers' Union, 1935p. 160
Louis Adamic Lists the Virtues and Advantages of a Sitdown Strike, 1936p. 164
Working-Class Culturep. 169
Lester Hunter, "I'd Rather Not Be on Relief," 1938p. 170
Vivian Morris Interviews an Unemployed Domestic Worker at the "Bronx Slave Market," 1938p. 173
Leadbelly, Songs of Depression and War, 1938 and 1944p. 177
Joseph Mitchell on McSorley's Saloon, 1940p. 180
1945-Presentp. 185
Work and Labor / Management Relationsp. 189
Roberto Acuna Recalls Life Growing Up as an Itinerant Farm Workerp. 191
William Whyte Defines The Organization Man, 1957p. 195
Robin Leidner Works at McDonalds, 1980sp. 199
Jeremy Rifkin Explains the Reasons for Technological Unemployment in the Information Age, 1995p. 203
The Union Movementp. 207
James Lerner Remembers How McCarthyism Affected the United Electrical Workersp. 208
John F. Kennedy Questions Jimmy Hoffa about Union Ethics, 1957p. 212
George Meany Testifies in Favor of Civil Rights Bills, 1963p. 216
Mike Hamlin on Black Workers' Disputes with the United Auto Workers, 1970p. 220
Working-Class Culturep. 225
"Judith Ann" on Life in "The Secretarial Proletariat"p. 226
Fred Cook Reports on Hardhats vs. Hippies, 1970p. 230
Ben Hamper on Coping with Life in an Automobile Factoryp. 235
"Keffo" Lays Out Patterns of Temp Worker Solidarity, ca. 1997p. 239
William Greider, from "One World, Ready or Not," 1997p. 242
Table of Contents provided by Rittenhouse. All Rights Reserved.

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