Solidarity and Fragmentation

Working People and Class Consciousness in Detroit, 1875-1900
Author: Richard Jules Oestreicher
The rise and fall of the Knights of Labor in a Midwestern city
Paper – $33
eBook – $19.95
Publication Date
Paperback: 01/01/1990
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About the Book

Acclaimed as a classic study of the Knights of Labor, Solidarity and Fragmentation delves into an essential question: how did the interplay between class and ethnicity play out within the working class during the Gilded Age? Richard Jules Oestreicher illuminates the immigrant communities, radical politics, multiple meanings of workers' affiliations in Detroit in the last decades of the nineteenth century. Oestreicher uses an insightful community study to examine the cultural reasons that both boosted the Knights of Labor to its height and brought about the KOL's catastrophic collapse. Throughout, the voices of Detroit's workers shed new light on the human dimension of an often misunderstood but undeniably important organization.

About the Author

Richard Jules Oestreicher is a professor emeritus of history at the University of Pittsburgh.


"Radical history at its best, speaking directly to the descendants of radicals and social visionaries about the lessons of their past."--Monthly Review

"This is a first-rate study of the interplay between class and ethnicity in a late nineteenth-century industrial city. . . . an important book that should be read not only by students of labor and immigration history but by all those interested in the evolution of American culture and values."--American Studies