Where Are the Workers?

Labor’s Stories at Museums and Historic Sites
Author: Edited by Robert Forrant and Mary Anne Trasciatti
Returning working-class people to the teaching of American history
Cloth – $110
Paper – $28
eBook – $19.95
Publication Date
Paperback: 06/28/2022
Cloth: 06/28/2022
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About the Book

The labor movement in the United States is a bulwark of democracy and a driving force for social and economic equality. Yet its stories remain largely unknown to Americans. Robert Forrant and Mary Anne Trasciatti edit a collection of essays focused on nationwide efforts to propel the history of labor and working people into mainstream narratives of US history. In Part One, the contributors concentrate on ways to collect and interpret worker-oriented history for public consumption. Part Two moves from National Park sites to murals to examine the writing and visual representation of labor history. Together, the essayists explore how place-based labor history initiatives promote understanding of past struggles, create awareness of present challenges, and support efforts to build power, expand democracy, and achieve justice for working people.

A wide-ranging blueprint for change, Where Are the Workers? shows how working-class perspectives can expand our historical memory and inform and inspire contemporary activism.

Contributors: Jim Beauchesne, Rebekah Bryer, Rebecca Bush, Conor Casey, Rachel Donaldson, Kathleen Flynn, Elijah Gaddis, Susan Grabski, Amanda Kay Gustin, Karen Lane, Rob Linné, Erik Loomis, Tom MacMillan, Lou Martin, Scott McLaughlin, Kristin O’Brassill-Kulfan, Karen Sieber, and Katrina Windon

About the Author

Robert Forrant is a professor of history at the University of Massachusetts Lowell and the author of Metal Fatigue: American Bosch and the Demise of Metalworking in the Connecticut River Valley. Mary Anne Trasciatti directs the Labor Studies program and is a professor of rhetoric and public advocacy at Hofstra University. She is the author of The Rebel Girl, Democracy, and Revolution: Elizabeth Gurley Flynn’s Civil Liberties Activism 1909–1964 and coeditor of Talking to the Girls: Intimate and Political Essays on the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire.


"Where are the Workers? has much to offer labor historians, public historians, and all readers who want to know more about how working people's stories are told and how those narratives can be presented more often, with more respect in museums and historic places." --North Carolina Historical Review


“A much-needed contribution to larger and urgent national conversations around both organized labor and place-based public labor history. The need for (and threats to) unions, the struggle for fair wages, efforts to ensure workplace safety--the headlines of the present were the headlines of the past, too. These essays make the compelling case that museums and historic sites have, can, and must actively shape public understanding, while helping to inspire the activists and organizers of the future.”--Marla Miller, coauthor of Bending the Future: Fifty Ideas for the Next Fifty Years of Historic Preservation in the United States