Cover for ARNESEN: Waterfront Workers of New Orleans: Race, Class, and Politics, 1863-1923

Waterfront Workers of New Orleans

Race, Class, and Politics, 1863-1923
Awards and Recognition:

Winner of the John H. Dunning Prize in United States History

A sophisticated analysis of New Orleans labor history

"During the nineteenth century, American and foreign travelers often found New Orleans a delightful, exotic stop on their journeys; few failed to marvel at the riverfront, the center of the city's economic activity. . . . But absent from the tourism industry's historical recollection is any reference to the immigrants or black migrants and their children who constituted the army of laborers along the riverfront and provided the essential human power to keep the cotton, sugar, and other goods flowing. . . . In examining one diverse group of workers--the 10,000 to 15,000 cotton screwmen, longshoremen, cotton and round freight teamsters, cotton yardmen, railroad freight handlers, and Mississippi River roustabouts--this book focuses primarily on the workplace and the labor movement that emerged along the waterfront."--From the preface


"Sits at the crossroads of southern, labor, and African-American history, offering its readers a fascinating ride through several generations of complex experience."--Journal of Southern History

"An outstanding example of a holistic approach to labor history. Arnesen has thoroughly grounded his history of the relations of the black and white waterfront unions in the changing social, economic, and political climate of New Orleans."--Bernard A. Cook, Journal of American History

"Sophisticated and dynamic. Offers many insights for those who seek to confront the intractable realities of class and race in American society."--Bruce Nelson, Nation

"Riveting and pioneering study that considers the histories of African-American and white workers together, and apart."--David Roediger, In These Times

"All serious students of Louisiana history should add this splendid book to their libraries. . . . It will serve as a model for the long-neglected field of labor history in the urban South."--Joseph Logsdon, Louisiana History


Eric Arnesen is the James R. Hoffa Teamsters Professor of Modern American Labor History and Vice Dean for Faculty and Administration at George Washington University's Columbian College of Arts and Sciences. His books include Brotherhoods of Color: Black Railroad Workers and the Struggle for Equality, Black Protest and the Great Migration: A Brief History with Documents, and The Black Worker: Race, Labor, and Civil Rights since Emancipation.

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