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I would prefer not to

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labor history [Jul. 10th, 2007|11:38 am]
I would prefer not to


Can any of you fine erudite folks suggest a good book on the history of the labor movement in the United States?

[User Picture]From: maeve66
2007-07-10 06:57 pm (UTC)
Only one? Like an overview? That's a bit difficult. Mike Davis' Prisoners of the American Dream is a good synthesis about American (labor movement/socialism) exceptionalism -- why there isn't the same sort of deeply rooted class consciousness in the USA as there is in, for example, Europe.

I notice that Eric Arneson has some recent books, but I don't think he's great on how race ties into American labor history. One short section of W. E. B. DuBois Black Reconstruction is pretty indispensible for that. Or any of several books by David Roediger.

David Brody is old school, but it looks like his new collection of essays on major themes in US labor history might be good. Here's the link

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[User Picture]From: alsoname
2007-07-10 06:59 pm (UTC)

Not necessarily only one ... I don't know too much about the history of the movement and am looking for good places to start. Long lists are especially welcome, as that increases the chances that the library will have it!
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[User Picture]From: maeve66
2007-07-10 07:22 pm (UTC)
I just asked my dad, and he agrees with me that there's not really any one synthesis on American labor history. He suggests Howard Zinn's The People's History of the United States. That's more history from the bottom up than specifically labor history. He also reminded me of a very enjoyable book written by an anarchist in the 1970s -- it's very readable and covers a lot of the early movement. It's called Strike!, and it's by Jeremy Brecher. For a beginning, I might actually start there, before the Brody I quoted above. A lot of libraries ought to have Brecher's book.
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[User Picture]From: samuraigrrrl
2007-07-11 01:15 pm (UTC)
i was going to suggest "people's history" as well. sure, it covers more topics, but it does have a great deal on the labor movement and it's a great read.
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