Celebrating 40 Years of The Working Class in American History Series

This labor day weekend, we are celebrating 40 years of The Working Class in American History Series!

The Working Class in American History series publishes research that illuminates the broad dimensions of working people’s influence in North America.

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, James R. Barrett, Julie Greene, William P. Jones, Alice Kessler-Harris, and  Nelson Lichtenstein, 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.

Check out the new books joining the series this fall:

Remembering Lattimer: Labor, Migration, and Race in Pennsylvania Anthracite Country

Paul A. Shackel

Paul A. Shackel confronts the legacies and lessons of the Lattimer event. Beginning with a dramatic retelling of the incident, Shackel traces how the violence, and the acquittal of the deputies who perpetrated it, spurred membership in the United Mine Workers. Compelling and timely, Remembering Lattimer restores an American tragedy to our public memory.

Available September 2018


Dockworker Power: Race and Activism in Durban and the San Francisco Bay Area

Peter Cole

Dockworkers have power. Peter Cole brings such overlooked experiences to light in an eye-opening comparative study of Durban, South Africa, and the San Francisco Bay Area, California. Dockworker Power brings to light surprising parallels in the experiences of dockers half a world away from each other. It also offers a new perspective on how workers can change their conditions and world.

Available December 2018


Making the World Safe for Workers: Labor, the Left, and Wilsonian Internationalism

Elizabeth McKillen– New in Paperback

In this intellectually ambitious study, Elizabeth McKillen explores the significance of Wilsonian internationalism for workers and the influence of American labor in both shaping and undermining the foreign policies and war mobilization efforts of Woodrow Wilson’s administration. McKillen’s spotlight falls particularly on the American Federation of Labor, assisting with propaganda, policy, and diplomacy.

Available September 2018


Disruption in Detroit: Autoworkers and the Elusive Postwar Boom

Daniel J. Clark

Daniel J. Clark began by interviewing dozens of former autoworkers in the Detroit area and found a different story–one of economic insecurity marked by frequent layoffs, unrealized contract provisions, and indispensable second jobs. Disruption in Detroit is a vivid portrait of workers and an industry that experienced anything but stable prosperity.

Available September 2018



Women Have Always Worked: A Concise History— Second Edition

Alice Kessler-Harris

A classic since its original publication, Women Have Always Worked brings much-needed insight into the ways work has shaped female lives and sensibilities. A new chapter by Kessler-Harris follows women into the early twenty-first century as they confront barriers of race, sex, and class to earn positions in the new information society.

Available October 2018




To Live Here, You Have to Fight: How Women Led Appalachian Movements for Social Justice

Jessica Wilkerson

Inspiring yet sobering, To Live Here, You Have to Fight reveals Appalachian women as the indomitable caregivers of a region–and overlooked actors in the movements that defined their time. Jessica Wilkerson tells their stories within the larger drama of efforts to enact change in the 1960s and 1970s.

Available January 2019


Labor’s Mind: A History of Working-Class Intellectual Life

Tobias Higbie

Labor’s Mind uses diaries and personal correspondence, labor college records, and a range of print and visual media to recover this social history of the working-class mind. Revelatory and sympathetic, Labor’s Mind reclaims a forgotten chapter in working-class intellectual life while mapping present-day possibilities for labor, higher education, and digitally enabled self-study.

Available January 2019

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