Workers in Hard Times

A Long View of Economic Crises
Author: Edited by Leon Fink, Joseph A. McCartin, and Joan Sangster
Historical perspectives on workers, capitalism, and the Great Recession
Cloth – $125
Paper – $30
eBook – $19.95
Publication Date
Paperback: 03/09/2020
Cloth: 02/24/2014
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About the Book

This volume of essays connects the Great Recession of 2007–2009 to economic crises that took place in various industrialized nations across the globe. The authors find parallels and cause-and-effect possibilities that push readers to rethink the relationship between capital and labor, the waged and unwaged, and the employed and jobless. They also predict an uncertain future for workers, and although the essays do not offer concrete solutions, the essayists provide an understanding of the causes of recession that will aid in the pursuit of effective remedies during future crises.

Contributors: Sven Beckert, Sean Cadigan, Leon Fink, Alvin Finkel, Wendy Goldman, Gaetan Heroux, Joseph A. McCartin, David Montgomery, Edward Montgomery, Scott Reynolds Nelson, Melanie Nolan, Bryan D. Palmer, Joan Sangster, Judith Stein, Hilary Wainright, and Lu Zhang

About the Author

Leon Fink is Distinguished Professor of History at the University of Illinois at Chicago and the author of Sweatshops at Sea: Merchant Seamen in the World's First Globalized Industry, from 1812 to 2000. Joseph A. McCartin is a professor of history at Georgetown University and the author of Collision Course: Ronald Reagan, the Air Traffic Controllers, and the Strike that Changed America. Joan Sangster is a professor of gender and women's studies at Trent University and the author of Transforming Labour: Women and Work in Postwar Canada.

Also by this author

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"This is the rare edited collection that makes readers wish they were at the original conference at which the papers first appeared. . . . Present there and in this volume are some of the biggest names in labor and industrial history."--The Journal of American History

"The quality of writing is high. I recommend the book highly to all interested in the topic indicated in its title."--Labor Studies Journal

"The essays serve as important reminders of how interconnected world economic conditions have always been, and of how much more interconnected they are now."--The Journal of American History

"This book could have been another collection of essays in which academics principally talk to each other, but it is instead accessible to both academic and non-academic audiences. Hopefully, interested readers yearning for social and economic justice will peruse its pages and maybe even be inspired to unfurl a red flag."--The Canadian Historical Review


"Workers in Hard Times: A Long View of Economic Crises examines the history of economic depressions, recessions, and crises in North America, New Zealand, Australia, parts of Europe and Asia, and worker responses to them. At its core lie the issues of agency and structure, culture and conditioning. The well-written essays will appeal to those interested in past and present responses to economic troubles and ways out of the current global recession."--Neville Kirk, author of Labour and the Politics of Empire: Britain and Australia 1900 to the Present


• ILHA Book of the Year Award, International Labor History Association, 2014