Labor history titles

Mark Lause lause at
Tue Jun 12 21:59:49 MDT 2001

Thanks for noting these titles, a number of which address matters of very
specific concern to the modern American Left.  My own book is available only in
hardback and is frankly a bit pricey.  Take the particulars with you next time
you're at the nearest public library, and ask if they'll order it.  A lot of
libraries have funds earmarked to by new titles and are more than happy to honor
requests like that....something to keep in mind for other works, too.

The reasons for looking at the third party movement of 1880 make a lot more sense
to this list than to the H-LABOR, so let me explain them here.  Although there's
a lot out there on the Populists and even the Socialists, there's almost nothing
available on the Greenback-Labor movement, which represented the largest third
party movement that did not displace an existing major party (as did the
Republicans a generation before).

More than this, there were several things the were simply unique about the 1880
campaign: (1) It created a uniquely broad movement that brought together radicals
of all sorts--women suffragists, black militants, old abolitionists, socialists,
anarachists, a few pioneering environmentalists, etc.  (2) The insurgent
candidate, James Baird Weaver actively stumped the country, appealing directly to
voters....a first time. (3) The 1880 campaign pit four Union generals against
each other, essentially in an argument over what the victory they won in 1865
should mean--hence the title, _The Civil War's Last Campaign_. (4) Although
virtually unnoticed in the earlier secondary literature, the insurgents became
wonderfully confrontational over the disenfranchisement of the freedmen in the
South.  Finally, (5) the responses of the two-party system became a rather
sophisticated mix of violence, vote fraud, and, ultimately, a complete press
blackout on the third party movement.  All in all, a very interesting and
neglected chapter in the history of the movement.

Along these same nineteenth century themes, I'd also really like to recommend
Messer-Kruse's _Yankee International_ for some very sound new insights into the
way ethnic rivalries (rather than the oft asserted class differences) shaped the
initial American experience with Marxism in the First International.  As well,
Weir's _Beyond Labor's Veil_ explores the role of internal discipline in shaping
the dynamics of the massive Knights of Labor.  Both address themes that are
periodically resurfacing on this list all these years later.

Mark Lause

Louis Proyect wrote:

> The Labor History discussion list recently asked for recommended readings
> on labor history that would interest "non-specialists."  The following list
> summarizes the items proposed by those professors who made recommendations.
> I forward it to you on the IRRA ListServ as some recommended "Summer
> Reading at the Beach!" Enjoy! Bill Canak
> Adler, William
> Land of Opportunity: One Family's Quest for the American Dream in the Age
> of Crack
> Babson, Steve
> The Unfinished Struggle: Turning Points in American Labor, 1877-Present
> Bain, David
> Empire Express: Building the First Transcontinental Railroad
> Compa, Lance
> Unfair Advantage: Worker's Freedom of Association in the United States
> under International Human Rights Standards
> Cowie, Jefferson
> Capital Moves: RCA's 70-Year Quest for Cheap Labor
> Crittenden, Ann
> The Price of Motherhood: Why the  Most important Job in the World is Still
> the Least Valued
> Denning, Michael
> The Cultural Front: The Laboring of American Culture in the Twentieth Century
> Dowd, Douglas
> Capitalism and Its Economics
> Ehrenreich, Barbara
> Nickled and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in Boom-time America
> Folbre, Nancy
> The Invisible Heart: Economics and Family Values
> Godfried, Nathan
> WCFL, Chicago's Voice of Labor, 1926-1978
> Gyory, Andrew
> Closing the Gate: Race, Politics, and the Chinese Exclusion Act (Bill Issel)
> Hapke, Laura
> Labor's Text: The Worker in American Fiction
> Hartigan, John
> Racial Situations: Class Predicaments of Whiteness in Detroit
> Horne, Gerald
> Class Struggle in Hollywood, 1930-1950
> Jameson, Elizabeth
> All That Glitters: Class, Conflict, and Community in Cripple Creek
> Johnson, Susan
> Roaring Camp: The Social World of the California Gold Rush
> Johnson, Walter
> Soul by Soul: Life Inside the Antebellum Slave Market
> Juravich, Tom
> Ravenswood: The Steelworkers: Victory and the Revival of American Labor
> Kelley, Robin
> To Make Our Anew: A History of African Americans
> Lannon, Albert
> Fight or Be Slaves: the history of the Oakland-East Bay Labor Movement
> Lause, Mark [Marxism list subscriber]
> The Civil War's Last Campaign: James B. Weaver, The Greenback-Labor Party &
> The Politics Of Race And Section
> Lazerow, Jama
> Religion And The Working Class In Antebellum America
> Lichtenstein, Nelson
> Walter Reuther: The Most Dangerous Man in Detroit
> Linebaugh, Peter
> The Many-Headed Hydra: Sailors, Slaves, Commoners, and the Hidden History
> of the Revolutionary Atlantic
> Lipsitz, George
> Rainbow At Midnight: Labor And Culture in the 1940s
> Lorence, James
> The Suppression of 'Salt of the Earth:' How Hollywood, Big Labor and
> Politicians Blacklisted a Movie in Cold War America
> Lorence, James
> Organizing the Unemployed: Community and Union Activists in the Industrial
> Heartland
> MacLeod, Alistair
> Island: The Complete Stories
> McCartin, Joseph
> Labor's Great War
> Messer-Kruse, Timothy
> The Yankee International: Marxism and the American reform tradition,
> 1848-1876
> Metzgar, Jack
> Striking Steel
> Mirel, Jeffrey
> The Rise and Fall of an Urban School System: Detroit, 1907-81, 2nd ed.
> Nelson, Bruce
> Divided We Stand: American Workers and the Struggle for Black Equality
> Peck, Gunther
> Reinventing Free Labor: Padrones and Immigrant Workers in the North
> American West 1880-1930
> Plotke, David
> Building A Democratic Political Order
> Ross, Steven
> Working Class Hollywood: Silent Film And The Shaping of Class in America
> Smith, Suzanne
> Dancing in the Street: Motown and the Cultural Politics of Detroit
> Stein, Judith
> Running Steel, Running America
> Sugrue, Thomas
> The Origins of the Urban Crisis: Race and Inequality in Postwar Detroit
> Vaught, David
> Cultivating California: Growers, Specialty Crops, and Labor, 1875-1920
> Weir, Robert
> Beyond Labor's veil: the culture of the Knights of Labor
> Zieger, Bob
> The CIO
> Louis Proyect
> Marxism mailing list:

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