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1. cover
Title: Battling for American labor: wobblies, craft workers, and the making of the union movement
Author: Kimeldorf, Howard
Published: University of California Press,  1999
Subjects: American Studies | Sociology | History | United States History | Labor Studies
Publisher's Description: In this incisive reinterpretation of the history of the American labor movement, Howard Kimeldorf challenges received thinking about rank-and-file workers and the character of their unions. Battling for American Labor answers the baffling question of how, while mounting some of the most aggressive challenges to employing classes anywhere in the world, organized labor in the United States has warmly embraced the capitalist system of which they are a part. Rejecting conventional understandings of American unionism, Kimeldorf argues that what has long been the hallmark of organized labor in the United States - its distinctive reliance on worker self-organization and direct economic action - can be seen as a particular kind of syndicalism.Kimeldorf brings this syndicalism to life through two rich and compelling case studies of unionization efforts by Philadelphia longshoremen and New York City culinary workers during the opening decades of the twentieth century. He shows how these workers, initially affiliated with the radical IWW and later the conservative AFL, pursued a common logic of collective action at the point of production that largely dictated their choice of unions. Elegantly written and deeply engaging, Battling for American Labor offers insights not only into how the American labor movement got to where it is today, but how it might possibly reinvent itself in the years ahead.   [brief]
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2. cover
Title: Reorganizing the Rust Belt: an inside study of the American labor movement
Author: Lopez, Steven Henry 1968-
Published: University of California Press,  2004
Subjects: Sociology | Economics and Business | Labor Studies | Public Policy | Anthropology | Urban Studies | Urban Studies
Publisher's Description: This gripping insider's look at the contemporary American trade union movement shows that reports of organized labor's death are premature. In this eloquent and erudite narrative, Steven Henry Lopez demonstrates how, despite a hostile legal environment and the punitive anti-unionism of U.S. employers, a few unions have organized hundreds of thousands of low-wage service workers in the past few years. The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) has been at the forefront of this effort, in the process pioneering innovative strategies of grassroots mobilization and protest. In a powerful ethnography that captures the voices of those involved in SEIU nursing-home organizing in western Pennsylvania, Lopez illustrates how post-industrial, low-wage workers are providing the backbone for a reinvigorated labor movement across the country. Reorganizing the Rust Belt argues that the key to the success of social movement unionism lies in its ability to confront a series of dilemmas rooted in the history of American labor relations. Lopez shows how the union's ability to devise creative solutions - rather than the adoption of specific tactics - makes the difference between success and failure.   [brief]
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3. cover
Title: Peasants and protest: agricultural workers, politics, and unions in the Aude, 1850-1914 online access is available to everyone
Author: Frader, Laura Levine 1945-
Published: University of California Press,  1991
Subjects: History | European History | Gender Studies | French Studies
Publisher's Description: In the first decade of the twentieth century, the sleepy vineyard towns of the Aude department of southern France exploded with strikes and protests. Agricultural workers joined labor unions, the Socialist party established a base among peasant vinegrowers, and the largest peasant uprising of twentieth-century France, the great vinegrowers' revolt of 1907, shook the entire south with massive demonstrations. In this study, Laura Levine Frader explains how left-wing politics and labor radicalism in the Aude emerged from the economic and social transformation of rural society between 1850 and 1914. She describes the formation of an agricultural wage-earning class, and discusses how socialism and a revolutionary syndicalist labor movement together forged working-class identity.Frader's focus on the making of the rural proletariat takes the study of class formation out of the towns and cities and into the countryside. Frader emphasizes the complexity of social structure and political life in the Aude, describing the interaction of productive relations, the gender division of labor, community solidarities, and class alliances. Her analysis raises questions about the applicability of an urban, industrial model of class formation to rural society. This study will be of interest to French social historians, agricultural historians, and those interested in the relationship between capitalism, class formation, and labor militancy.   [brief]
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4. cover
Title: Manufacturing militance: workers' movements in Brazil and South Africa, 1970-1985
Author: Seidman, G
Published: University of California Press,  1994
Subjects: Politics | Latin American Studies | African Studies | Labor Studies | Economics and Business
Publisher's Description: Challenging prevailing theories of development and labor, Gay Seidman's controversial study explores how highly politicized labor movements could arise simultaneously in Brazil and South Africa, two starkly different societies. Beginning with the 1960s, Seidman shows how both authoritarian states promoted specific rapid-industrialization strategies, in the process reshaping the working class and altering relationships between business and the state. When economic growth slowed in the 1970s, workers in these countries challenged social and political repression; by the mid-1980s, they had become major voices in the transition from authoritarian rule.Based in factories and working-class communities, these movements enjoyed broad support as they fought for improved social services, land reform, expanding electoral participation, and racial integration.In Brazil, Seidman takes us from the shopfloor, where disenfranchized workers organized for better wages and working conditions, to the strikes and protests that spread to local communities. Similar demands for radical change emerged in South Africa, where community groups in black townships joined organized labor in a challenge to minority rule that linked class consciousness to racial oppression. Seidman details the complex dynamics of these militant movements and develops a broad analysis of how newly industrializing countries shape the opportunities for labor to express demands. Her work will be welcomed by those interested in labor studies, social theory, and the politics of newly industrializing regions.   [brief]
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5. cover
Title: Japanese workers in protest: an ethnography of consciousness and experience online access is available to everyone
Author: Turner, Christena L 1949-
Published: University of California Press,  1995
Subjects: Anthropology | Cultural Anthropology | Japan | Sociology
Publisher's Description: This first ethnographic study of factory workers engaged in radical labor protest gives a voice to a segment of the Japanese population that has been previously marginalized. These blue-collar workers, involved in prolonged labor disputes, tell their own story as they struggle to make sense of their lives and their culture during a time of conflict and instability. What emerges is a sensitive portrait of how workers grapple with a slowed economy and the contradictions of Japanese industry in the late postwar era. The ways that they think and feel about accommodation, resistance, and protest raise essential questions about the transformation of labor practices and limits of worker cooperation and compliance.   [brief]
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6. cover
Title: Reds or rackets?: the making of radical and conservative unions on the waterfront online access is available to everyone
Author: Kimeldorf, Howard
Published: University of California Press,  1988
Subjects: Sociology | United States History | Labor Studies
Publisher's Description: Why is the American working class different? For generations, scholars and activists alike have wrestled with this question, with an eye to explaining why workers in the United States are not more like their radicalized European counterparts. Approaching the question from a different angle, Reds or Rackets? provides a fascinating examination of the American labor movement from the inside out, as it were, by analyzing the divergent sources of radicalism and conservatism within it. Kimeldorf focuses on the political contrast between East and West Coast longshoremen from World War I through the early years of the Cold War, when the difference between the two unions was greatest. He explores the politics of the West Coast union that developed into a hot bed of working class insurgency and contrasts it with the conservative and racket-ridden East Coast longshoreman's union. Two unions, based in the same industry - as different as night and day. The question posed by Kimeldorf is, why? Why "reds" on one coast and racketeers on the other?To answer this question Kimeldorf provides a systematic comparison of the two unions, illuminating the political consequences of occupational recruitment, industry structure, mobilization strategies, and industrial conflict during this period. In doing so, Reds orRackets? sheds new light on the structural and historical bases of radical and conservative unionism.More than a comparative study of two unions, Reds or Rackets? is an exploration of the dynamics of trade unionism, sources of membership loyalty, and neglected aspects of working class consciousness. It is an incisive and valuable study that will appeal to historians, social scientists, and anyone interested in understanding the political trajectory of twentieth-century American labor.   [brief]
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7. cover
Title: Workers against work: labor in Paris and Barcelona during the popular fronts online access is available to everyone
Author: Seidman, Michael (Michael M.)
Published: University of California Press,  1990
Subjects: History | European History | Social Science | French Studies | Labor Studies
Publisher's Description: Why did a revolution occur in Spain and not in France in 1936? This is the key question Michael Seidman explores in his important new study of the relations between industrial capitalists and working-class movements in the early part of this century. In a comparative analysis of Paris during the Popular Front and Barcelona during the Spanish Revolution, Seidman examines the strengths and weaknesses of the bourgeoisie in these two cities and traces workers' resistance to, and acceptance of, work. His emphasis on the continuing refusal to work challenges the dominant views of labor historiography and contributes to a general theory of revolutionary workers' control.Seidman illuminates three crucial issues that have broad implications for the history of the twentieth century. His comparative approach delineates the nature of class confrontation in societies with different kinds of bourgeoisies or capitalist elites. He also shows how the differences between these elites affected the labor movements in France and Spain, and he demonstrates how rank-and-file workers actually responded to the revolutionary situation in Barcelona and to the advent of the reformist government in Paris.A social history of acceptance and rejection of work, this book offers a new conceptualization of wage earners and a critique of work itself.   [brief]
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8. cover
Title: The children of NAFTA: labor wars on the U.S./Mexico border
Author: Bacon, David 1948-
Published: University of California Press,  2004
Subjects: Sociology | American Studies | Labor Studies | Ethnic Studies | Latin American Studies | Immigration | Politics | Anthropology
Publisher's Description: Food, televisions, computer equipment, plumbing supplies, clothing. Much of the material foundation of our everyday lives is produced along the U.S./Mexico border in a world largely hidden from our view. Based on gripping firsthand accounts, this book investigates the impact of the North American Free Trade Agreement on those who labor in the agricultural fields and maquiladora factories on the border. Journalist David Bacon paints a powerful portrait of poverty, repression, and struggle, offering a devastating critique of NAFTA in the most pointed and in-depth examination of border workers published to date. Unlike journalists who have made brief excursions into strawberry fields and maquiladoras, Bacon has more than a decade's experience reporting on the ground at the border, and he has developed sustained relationships with scores of workers and organizers who have entrusted him with their stories. He describes harsh conditions of child labor in the Mexicali Valley, the deplorable housing outside factories in cities such as Tijuana, and corporate retaliation faced by union organizers. He finds that, despite the promises of its backers, NAFTA has locked in a harsh neoliberal economic policy that has swept away laws and protections that Mexican workers had established over decades. More than a showcase for NAFTA's victims, this book traces the emergence of a new social consciousness, telling how workers in Mexico, the United States, and Canada are now beginning to join together in a powerful new strategy of cross-border organizing as they search for economic and social justice.   [brief]
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9. cover
Title: Labor and imperial democracy in prewar Japan
Author: Gordon, Andrew 1952-
Published: University of California Press,  1991
Subjects: Asian Studies | Japan | Politics | Asian History | Labor Studies
Publisher's Description: Labor and Imperial Democracy in Prewar Japan examines the political role played by working men and women in prewar Tokyo and offers a reinterpretation of the broader dynamics of Japan's prewar political history. Gordon argues that such phenomena as riots, labor disputes, and union organizing can best be understood as part of an early twentieth-century movement for "imperial democracy" shaped by the nineteenth-century drive to promote capitalism and build a modern nation and empire. When the propertied, educated leaders of this movement gained a share of power in the 1920s, they disagreed on how far to go toward incorporating working men and women into an expanded body politic. For their part, workers became ambivalent toward working within the imperial democratic system. In this context, the intense polarization of laborers and owners during the Depression helped ultimately to destroy the legitimacy of imperial democracy.Gordon suggests that the thought and behavior of Japanese workers both reflected and furthered the intense concern with popular participation and national power that has marked Japan's modern history. He points to a post-World War II legacy for imperial democracy in both the organization of the working class movement and the popular willingness to see GNP growth as an index of national glory. Importantly, Gordon shows how historians might reconsider the roles of tenant farmers, students, and female activists, for example, in the rise and transformation of imperial democracy.   [brief]
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10. cover
Title: The fabrication of labor: Germany and Britain, 1640-1914 online access is available to everyone
Author: Biernacki, Richard 1956-
Published: University of California Press,  1997
Subjects: History | Sociology | Labor Studies | European History
Publisher's Description: This monumental study demonstrates the power of culture to define the meaning of labor. Drawing on massive archival evidence from Britain and Germany, as well as historical evidence from France and Italy, The Fabrication of Labor shows how the very nature of labor as a commodity differed fundamentally in different national contexts. A detailed comparative study of German and British wool textile mills reveals a basic difference in the way labor was understood, even though these industries developed in the same period, used similar machines, and competed in similar markets. These divergent definitions of the essential character of labor as a commodity influenced the entire industrial phenomenon, affecting experiences of industrial work, methods of remuneration, disciplinary techniques, forms of collective action, and even industrial architecture. Starting from a rigorous analysis of detailed archival materials, this study broadens out to analyze the contrasting developmental pathways to wage labor in Western Europe and offers a startling reinterpretation of theories of political economy put forward by Adam Smith and Karl Marx. In his brilliant cross-national study, Richard Biernacki profoundly reorients the analysis of how culture constitutes the very categories of economic life.   [brief]
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11. cover
Title: Race and the invisible hand: how white networks exclude black men from blue-collar jobs
Author: Royster, Deirdre A. (Deirdre Alexia) 1966-
Published: University of California Press,  2003
Subjects: Sociology | American Studies | Anthropology | Economics and Business | Urban Studies | Public Policy | African American Studies | Urban Studies | Public Policy
Publisher's Description: From the time of Booker T. Washington to today, and William Julius Wilson, the advice dispensed to young black men has invariably been, "Get a trade." Deirdre Royster has put this folk wisdom to an empirical test - and, in Race and the Invisible Hand, exposes the subtleties and discrepancies of a workplace that favors the white job-seeker over the black. At the heart of this study is the question: Is there something about young black men that makes them less desirable as workers than their white peers? And if not, then why do black men trail white men in earnings and employment rates? Royster seeks an answer in the experiences of 25 black and 25 white men who graduated from the same vocational school and sought jobs in the same blue-collar labor market in the early 1990s. After seriously examining the educational performances, work ethics, and values of the black men for unique deficiencies, her study reveals the greatest difference between young black and white men - access to the kinds of contacts that really help in the job search and entry process.   [brief]
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12. cover
Title: Redefining Black film
Author: Reid, Mark (Mark A.)
Published: University of California Press,  1993
Subjects: Cinema and Performance Arts | Film | African American Studies
Publisher's Description: Can films about black characters, produced by white filmmakers, be considered "black films"? In answering this question, Mark Reid reassesses black film history, carefully distinguishing between films controlled by blacks and films that utilize black talent, but are controlled by whites. Previous black film criticism has "buried" the true black film industry, Reid says, by concentrating on films that are about, but not by, blacks.Reid's discussion of black independent films - defined as films that focus on the black community and that are written, directed, produced, and distributed by blacks - ranges from the earliest black involvement at the turn of the century up through the civil rights movement of the Sixties and the recent resurgence of feminism in black cultural production. His critical assessment of work by some black filmmakers such as Spike Lee notes how these films avoid dramatizations of sexism, homophobia, and classism within the black community.In the area of black commercial film controlled by whites, Reid considers three genres: African-American comedy, black family film, and black action film. He points out that even when these films use black writers and directors, a black perspective rarely surfaces.Reid's innovative critical approach, which transcends the "black-image" language of earlier studies - and at the same time redefines black film - makes an important contribution to film history. Certain to attract film scholars, this work will also appeal to anyone interested in African-American and Women's Studies.   [brief]
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13. cover
Title: Dark sweat, white gold: California farm workers, cotton, and the New Deal
Author: Weber, Devra 1946-
Published: University of California Press,  1994
Subjects: History | Californian and Western History | Latino Studies | Labor Studies | California and the West | African History
Publisher's Description: In her incisive analysis of the shaping of California's agricultural work force, Devra Weber shows how the cultural background of Mexican and, later, Anglo-American workers, combined with the structure of capitalist cotton production and New Deal politics, forging a new form of labor relations. She pays particular attention to Mexican field workers and their organized struggles, including the famous strikes of 1933.Weber's perceptive examination of the relationships between economic structure, human agency, and the state, as well as her discussions of the crucial role of women in both Mexican and Anglo working-class life, make her book a valuable contribution to labor, agriculture, Chicano, Mexican, and California history.   [brief]
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14. cover
Title: White plague, black labor: tuberculosis and the political economy of health and disease in South Africa
Author: Packard, Randall M 1945-
Published: University of California Press,  1989
Subjects: Anthropology | Medicine | Medical Anthropology | African Studies | Politics
Publisher's Description: Why does tuberculosis, a disease which is both curable and preventable, continue to produce over 50,000 new cases a year in South Africa, primarily among blacks? In answering this question Randall Packard traces the history of one of the most devastating diseases in twentieth-century Africa, against the background of the changing political and economic forces that have shaped South African society from the end of the nineteenth century to the present. These forces have generated a growing backlog of disease among black workers and their families and at the same time have prevented the development of effective public health measures for controlling it. Packard's rich and nuanced analysis is a significant contribution to the growing body of literature on South Africa's social history as well as to the history of medicine and the political economy of health.   [brief]
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15. cover
Title: Farewell to the factory: auto workers in the late twentieth century
Author: Milkman, Ruth 1954-
Published: University of California Press,  1997
Subjects: Sociology | Politics
Publisher's Description: This study exposes the human side of the decline of the U.S. auto industry, tracing the experiences of two key groups of General Motors workers: those who took a cash buyout and left the factory, and those who remained and felt the effects of new technology and other workplace changes. Milkman's extensive interviews and surveys of workers from the Linden, New Jersey, GM plant reveal their profound hatred for the factory regime - a longstanding discontent made worse by the decline of the auto workers' union in the 1980s. One of the leading social historians of the auto industry, Ruth Milkman moves between changes in the wider industry and those in the Linden plant, bringing both a workers' perspective and a historical perspective to the study.Milkman finds that, contrary to the assumption in much of the literature on deindustrialization, the Linden buyout-takers express no nostalgia for the high-paying manufacturing jobs they left behind. Given the chance to make a new start in the late 1980s, they were eager to leave the plant with its authoritarian, prison-like conditions, and few have any regrets about their decision five years later. Despite the fact that the factory was retooled for robotics and that the management hoped to introduce a new participatory system of industrial relations, workers who remained express much less satisfaction with their lives and jobs.Milkman is adamant about allowing the workers to speak for themselves, and their hopes, frustrations, and insights add fresh and powerful perspectives to a debate that is often carried out over the heads of those whose lives are most affected by changes in the industry.   [brief]
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16. cover
Title: Comrades and enemies: Arab and Jewish workers in Palestine, 1906-1948 online access is available to everyone
Author: Lockman, Zachary
Published: University of California Press,  1996
Subjects: History | Middle Eastern History
Publisher's Description: In Comrades and Enemies Zachary Lockman explores the mutually formative interactions between the Arab and Jewish working classes, labor movements, and worker-oriented political parties in Palestine just before and during the period of British colonial rule. Unlike most of the historical and sociological literature on Palestine in this period, Comrades and Enemies avoids treating the Arab and Jewish communities as if they developed independently of each other. Instead of focusing on politics, diplomacy, or military history, Lockman draws on detailed archival research in both Arabic and Hebrew, and on interviews with activists, to delve into the country's social, economic, and cultural history, showing how Arab and Jewish societies in Palestine helped to shape each other in significant ways. Comrades and Enemies presents a narrative of Arab-Jewish relations in Palestine that extends and complicates the conventional story of primordial identities, total separation, and unremitting conflict while going beyond both Zionist and Palestinian nationalist mythologies and paradigms of interpretation.   [brief]
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17. cover
Title: The comparative imagination: on the history of racism, nationalism, and social movements online access is available to everyone
Author: Fredrickson, George M 1934-
Published: University of California Press,  1997
Subjects: History | United States History
Publisher's Description: In this collection of essays, an eminent American historian of race relations discusses issues central to our understanding of the history of racism, the role of racism, and the possibilites for justice in contemporary society. George M. Fredrickson provides an eloquent and vigorous examination of race relations in the United States and South Africa and at the same time illuminates the emerging field of comparative history - history that is explicitly cross-cultural in its comparisons of nations, eras, or social structures. Taken together, these thought-provoking, accessible essays - several never before published - bring new precision and depth to our understanding of racism and justice, both historically and for society today.The first group of essays in The Comparative Imagination summarizes and evaluates the cross-national comparative history written in the past fifty years. These essays pay particular attention to comparative work on slavery and race relations, frontiers, nation-building and the growth of modern welfare states, and class and gender relations. The second group of essays represents some of Fredrickson's own explorations into the cross-cultural study of race and racism. Included are new essays covering such topics as the theoretical and cross-cultural meaning of racism, the problem of race in liberal thought, and the complex relationship between racism and state-based nationalism. The third group contains Fredrickson's recent work on anti-racist and black liberation movements in the United States and South Africa, especially in the period since World War II.In addition, Fredrickson's provocative introduction breaks significant new intellectual ground, outlining a justification for the methods of comparative history in light of such contemporary intellectual trends as the revival of narrative history and the predominance of postmodern thought.   [brief]
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18. cover
Title: Working people of California online access is available to everyone
Author: Cornford, Daniel A 1947-
Published: University of California Press,  1995
Subjects: History | Ethnic Studies | California and the West | Labor Studies | Californian and Western History
Publisher's Description: From the California Indians who labored in the Spanish missions to the immigrant workers on Silicon Valley's high-tech assembly lines, California's work force has had a complex and turbulent past, marked by some of the sharpest and most significant battles fought by America's working people. This anthology presents the work of scholars who are forging a new brand of social history - one that reflects the diversity of California's labor force by paying close attention to the multicultural and gendered aspects of the past. Readers will discover a refreshing chronological breadth to this volume, as well as a balanced examination of both rural and urban communities.Daniel Cornford's excellent general introduction provides essential historical background while his brief introductions to each chapter situate the essays in their larger contexts. A list of further readings appears at the end of each chapter.   [brief]
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19. cover
Title: Land, labor and the origins of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, 1882-1914
Author: Shafir, Gershon
Published: University of California Press,  1996
Subjects: Middle Eastern Studies | Middle Eastern History | Labor Studies
Publisher's Description: Gershon Shafir challenges the heroic myths about the foundation of the State of Israel by investigating the struggle to control land and labor during the early Zionist enterprise. He argues that it was not the imported Zionist ideas that were responsible for the character of the Israeli state, but t . . . [more]
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20. cover
Title: The state and labor in modern Japan
Author: Garon, Sheldon
Published: University of California Press,  1987
Subjects: Asian Studies | History | Asian History | Politics | Labor Studies
Publisher's Description: In this meticulously researched study, Sheldon Garon examines the evolution of Japan's governmental policies toward labor from the late nineteenth century to the present day, and he substantially revises prevailing views which depict relations between the Japanese state and labor simply in terms of . . . [more]
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