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The Working Class in American History


Acquiring Editor: James Engelhardt
Series Editors: James R. Barrett, Julie Greene, William P. Jones, Alice Kessler-Harris, and Nelson Lichtenstein

The Working Class in American History series publishes research that illuminates the broad dimensions of working people’s influence in North America. We define working-class history capaciously and encourage submissions that explore waged, non-waged, and/or coerced labor, rural and urban settings, and the wide range of labor performed in non-industrial settings, from agriculture to domestic service and beyond. We welcome consideration of the diverse contexts of the lives of those who work, including legal, political, and ideological aspects, as well as parameters of gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, religion, and immigration. As we seek to enhance understanding of pre-industrial and industrializing worlds, we also explore the new challenges that workers face amidst deindustrialization, globalized production, and an expanding service economy. We particularly seek projects that reflect the mobile, international, and diverse nature of capital and labor and apply a transnational or comparative outlook to the study of the working class. We find compelling work that considers the centrality of working people within the history of capitalism.

The series was established in the 1970s by Herbert Gutman, David Brody, and David Montgomery, the enormously influential founders of “the new labor history” that recast the study of the working class into a broad and culturally resonant discipline that influenced scholarship not just in history, but throughout the humanities and social sciences. The current editors of the Illinois series are committed to the expansive vision of its founders, now adapted to the questions posed by the shifting contours of politics, scholarship, and economic and social life in the twenty-first century.

See our featured title flyer here.


link to catalog page, Civic Labors

Civic Labors

Scholar Activism and Working-Class Studies

Author: Edited by Dennis Deslippe, Eric Fure-Slocum, and John W. McKerley
Pub Date: November 2016

At the crossroads of writing, teaching, and living the struggle   learn more...

link to catalog page, The Making of Working-Class Religion Author: Matthew Pehl
Pub Date: October 2016

Welding solidarity to the sacred in the Motor City   learn more...

link to catalog page, On Gender, Labor, and Inequality Author: Ruth Milkman
Pub Date: May 2016

Classic writings on women and work from the trailblazing author   learn more...

link to catalog page, Conservative Counterrevolution

Conservative Counterrevolution

Challenging Liberalism in 1950s Milwaukee

Author: Tula A. Connell
Pub Date: April 2016

A forceful account of right-wing opposition to the postwar New Deal   learn more...

link to catalog page, Manhood on the Line

Manhood on the Line

Working-Class Masculinities in the American Heartland

Author: Stephen Meyer
Pub Date: April 2016

Grinding out new ideas of masculinity in the twentieth century   learn more...

link to catalog page, The Pew and the Picket Line

The Pew and the Picket Line

Christianity and the American Working Class

Author: Edited by Christopher D. Cantwell, Heath W. Carter, and Janine Giordano Drake
Pub Date: March 2016

Innovative essays on how faith and capitalism have shaped one-another in the United States   learn more...

link to catalog page, Disaster Citizenship

Disaster Citizenship

Survivors, Solidarity, and Power in the Progressive Era

Author: Jacob A. C. Remes
Pub Date: January 2016

The clash of reformers and survivors in the aftermath of catastrophe   learn more...

link to catalog page, Smokestacks in the Hills

Smokestacks in the Hills

Rural-Industrial Workers in West Virginia

Author: Lou Martin
Pub Date: November 2015

Welding together factory life and local ways in a changing countryside   learn more...

link to catalog page, Fighting for Total Person Unionism

Fighting for Total Person Unionism

Harold Gibbons, Ernest Calloway, and Working-Class Citizenship

Author: Robert Bussel
Pub Date: October 2015

The progressive vision of a Teamsters local   learn more...

link to catalog page, Free Labor

Free Labor

The Civil War and the Making of an American Working Class

Author: Mark A. Lause
Pub Date: July 2015

National catastrophe and the evolution of the labor movement   learn more...

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