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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, 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, 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, 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, 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, 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, Struggle for the Soul of the Postwar South

Struggle for the Soul of the Postwar South

White Evangelical Protestants and Operation Dixie

Author: Elizabeth Fones-Wolf and Ken Fones-Wolf
Pub Date: April 2015

Religion's role in the ill-fated struggle to unionize white workers in the South   learn more...

link to catalog page, Chicago in the Age of Capital

Chicago in the Age of Capital

Class, Politics, and Democracy during the Civil War and Reconstruction

Author: John B. Jentz and Richard Schneirov
Pub Date: Cloth: 2012; Paper: April 2015

Building a city on a shifting, clashing political economy   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...

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, Redeeming Time

Redeeming Time

Protestantism and Chicago’s Eight-Hour Movement, 1866-1912

Author: William A. Mirola
Pub Date: January 2015

The role clergy played and didn't play in one of organized labor's greatest victories   learn more...

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