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The Working Class in American History


Acquiring Editor: James Engelhardt
Series Editors: James R. Barrett, Julie Greene, William P. Jones, Alice Kessler-Harris, and Nelson Lichtenstein

The Working Class in American History series publishes research that illuminates the broad dimensions of working people’s influence in North America. We define working-class history capaciously and encourage submissions that explore waged, non-waged, and/or coerced labor, rural and urban settings, and the wide range of labor performed in non-industrial settings, from agriculture to domestic service and beyond. We welcome consideration of the diverse contexts of the lives of those who work, including legal, political, and ideological aspects, as well as parameters of gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, religion, and immigration. As we seek to enhance understanding of pre-industrial and industrializing worlds, we also explore the new challenges that workers face amidst deindustrialization, globalized production, and an expanding service economy. We particularly seek projects that reflect the mobile, international, and diverse nature of capital and labor and apply a transnational or comparative outlook to the study of the working class. We find compelling work that considers the centrality of working people within the history of capitalism.

The series was established in the 1970s by Herbert Gutman, David Brody, and David Montgomery, the enormously influential founders of “the new labor history” that recast the study of the working class into a broad and culturally resonant discipline that influenced scholarship not just in history, but throughout the humanities and social sciences. The current editors of the Illinois series are committed to the expansive vision of its founders, now adapted to the questions posed by the shifting contours of politics, scholarship, and economic and social life in the twenty-first century.

See our featured title flyer here.


link to catalog page, Victor Arnautoff and the Politics of Art Author: Robert W. Cherny
Pub Date: April 2017

A political biography of the great California muralist   learn more...

link to catalog page, Detroit's Cold War

Detroit's Cold War

The Origins of Postwar Conservatism

Author: Colleen Doody
Pub Date: Cloth: 2013; Paper: 2017

An essential contribution to the history of anticommunism and postwar conservatism   learn more...

link to catalog page, Against Labor

Against Labor

How U.S. Employers Organized to Defeat Union Activism

Author: Edited by Rosemary Feurer and Chad Pearson
Pub Date: April 2017

How American management implemented "Solidarity never!"   learn more...

link to catalog page, Man of Fire

Man of Fire

Selected Writings

Author: Ernesto Galarza Edited by Armando Ibarra and Rodolfo D. Torres
Pub Date: Cloth: 2013; Paper: February 2017

The key works of the Latino labor activist and scholar   learn more...

Teacher Strike!

Public Education and the Making of a New American Political Order

Author: Jon Shelton
Pub Date: April 2017

The epic story of a time of peak conflict in urban education   learn more...

link to catalog page, The Pew and the Picket Line

The Pew and the Picket Line

Christianity and the American Working Class

Author: Edited by Christopher D. Cantwell, Heath W. Carter, and Janine Giordano Drake
Pub Date: March 2016

Innovative essays on how faith and capitalism have shaped one-another in the United States   learn more...

link to catalog page, Conservative Counterrevolution

Conservative Counterrevolution

Challenging Liberalism in 1950s Milwaukee

Author: Tula A. Connell
Pub Date: April 2016

A forceful account of right-wing opposition to the postwar New Deal   learn more...

link to catalog page, Civic Labors

Civic Labors

Scholar Activism and Working-Class Studies

Author: Edited by Dennis Deslippe, Eric Fure-Slocum, and John W. McKerley
Pub Date: November 2016

At the crossroads of writing, teaching, and living the struggle   learn more...

link to catalog page, Manhood on the Line

Manhood on the Line

Working-Class Masculinities in the American Heartland

Author: Stephen Meyer
Pub Date: April 2016

Grinding out new ideas of masculinity in the twentieth century   learn more...

link to catalog page, On Gender, Labor, and Inequality Author: Ruth Milkman
Pub Date: May 2016

Classic writings on women and work from the trailblazing author   learn more...

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