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Ebook Information

Against Labor

How U.S. Employers Organized to Defeat Union Activism

How American management implemented "Solidarity never!"

Against Labor highlights the tenacious efforts by employers to organize themselves as a class to contest labor. Ranging across a spectrum of understudied issues, essayists explore employer anti-labor strategies and offer incisive portraits of people and organizations that aggressively opposed unions. Other contributors examine the anti-labor movement against a backdrop of larger forces, such as the intersection of race and ethnicity with anti-labor activity, and anti-unionism in the context of neoliberalism.

A timely and revealing collection, Against Labor deepens our understanding of management history and employer activism and their metamorphic effects on workplace and society.

Contributors: Michael Dennis, Elizabeth Esch, Rosemary Feurer, Dolores E. Janiewski, Thomas A. Klug, Chad Pearson, Peter Rachleff, David Roediger, Howard Stanger, and Robert Woodrum.

"Boldly challenges the scholarship that considers employers as a malleable force that often compromises when social movements forge political environments that are inimical to their interests. Contributes enormously to our understanding of business tactics and strategy."--Immanuel Ness, author of Guest Workers and Resistance to U.S. Corporate Despotism

"The decline of organized labor in recent decades is often attributed to globalization, financialization, and right-wing politics. But the compelling essays in this important volume show that the limits to workers’ collective power stem more basically from the concerted anti-union efforts of their employers dating back to the nineteenth century. Chronicling how capitalists have effectively forged a class-conscious social movement 'against labor,' these critical case studies make a vital contribution to the history of capitalism while illuminating the challenges facing workers today."--Jeffrey Sklansky, author of The Soul's Economy: Market Society and Selfhood in American Thought, 1820–1920


Rosemary Feurer is an associate professor of history at Northern Illinois University. She is the author of Radical Unionism in the Midwest, 1900–1950. Chad Pearson teaches history at Collin College. He is the author of Reform or Repression: Organizing America's Anti-Union Movement.

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