Cover for swados: On the Line. Click for larger image

On the Line

A powerful collection of stories about factory life

A classic of the literature of work, On the Line reveals the essential vision of a writer who, almost alone of his generation, portrayed America's families and factories with empathy, compassion, and intelligence. Swados's important essay "The Myth of the Happy Worker" has been included as an appendix.

"At the time, it was a powerful, terribly moving study of flesh-and-blood beings, men on the assembly line, demeaned and destroyed by a machine that is the system. On rereading it today, it is more overwhelming because it is even closer to the bone. Swados's feeling and prescience have made this novel more true than just about any piece of nonfiction on the subject of the contemporary workplace."--Studs Terkel

"Harvey Swados was a writer who stood apart from the prevailing fashions of his time. On the Line still has more to tell us about worker discontent--about the actual experience and aspirations of the factory class in America--than all the studies amassed by the government bureaus and foundation research committees will ever equal."--Hilton Kramer, New York Times Book Review


Harvey Swados was the author of Out Went the Candle, False Coin, Standing Fast, and A Radical's America. He died in 1972. Nelson Lichtenstein is Distinguished Professor in the Department of History at the University of California, Santa Barbara. His books include State of the Union: A Century of American Labor and Achieving Workers’ Rights in the Global Economy.

To order online:
//www.press.uillinois.edu/books/catalog/88dex6dg9780252060557.html

To order by phone:
(800) 621-2736 (USA/Canada)
(773) 702-7000 (International)

Related Titles

previous book next book
American Unemployment - Cover
American Unemployment

Past, Present, and Future

Frank Stricker

Latin American Migrations to the U.S. Heartland - Cover
Latin American Migrations to the U.S. Heartland

Changing Social Landscapes in Middle America

Edited by Linda Allegro and Andrew Grant Wood

The World in a City - Cover
The World in a City

Multiethnic Radicalism in Early Twentieth-Century Los Angeles

David M. Struthers

Upon the Altar of Work - Cover
Upon the Altar of Work

Child Labor and the Rise of a New American Sectionalism

Betsy Wood

Union Renegades - Cover
Union Renegades

Miners, Capitalism, and Organizing in the Gilded Age

Dana M. Caldemeyer

Rivington Street - Cover
Rivington Street

A Novel

Meredith Tax

To Make My Bread - Cover
To Make My Bread

Grace Lumpkin

Black Flag Boricuas - Cover
Black Flag Boricuas

Anarchism, Antiauthoritarianism, and the Left in Puerto Rico, 1897-1921

Kirwin R. Shaffer

Burning Valley - Cover
Burning Valley

Phillip Bonosky

Workers in Hard Times - Cover
Workers in Hard Times

A Long View of Economic Crises

Edited by Leon Fink, Joseph A. McCartin, and Joan Sangster

Workers against the City - Cover
Workers against the City

The Fight for Free Speech in Hague v. CIO

Donald W. Rogers

The Labor Board Crew - Cover
The Labor Board Crew

Remaking Worker-Employer Relations from Pearl Harbor to the Reagan Era

Ronald W. Schatz

Labor’s Mind - Cover
Labor’s Mind

A History of Working-Class Intellectual Life

Tobias Higbie