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Full-Text Articles in History

[Review Of The Book Values And Assumptions In American Labor Law], Nick Salvatore Jul 2012

[Review Of The Book Values And Assumptions In American Labor Law], Nick Salvatore

Nick Salvatore

[Excerpt] Reading this book it is difficult not to think that the intent of the author was less to understand the origins and developments of the values and assumptions that gild the practice of labor law than it was to 'prove' that labor law in America is really capitalist law and thus it invalidates itself. This is not only circular reasoning, but it is unfortunate as well. For there is another book to be written that would analyze these questions through a serious and sustained reading in the history of industrial relations and then apply that knowledge to specific case ...


[Review Of The Book William Johnson’S Natchez: The Ante-Bellum Diary Of A Free Negro], Nick Salvatore Jul 2012

[Review Of The Book William Johnson’S Natchez: The Ante-Bellum Diary Of A Free Negro], Nick Salvatore

Nick Salvatore

[Excerpt] To raise this issue of Johnson's silences and social isolation is not to engage in historical pity. He made choices from the options available to him and suffered the consequences as they developed. But his history underscores the fact that slavery generated a corresponding social system that was unforgiving to the individual caught in its contradictory currents. As Michael P. Johnson and James L. Roark suggest in Black Masters, their sensitive study of another slave owner and ex-slave, William Ellison of South Carolina, a purely personal solution to such volatile social relations proved impossible. What bound William Johnson ...


[Review Of The Book For Democracy, Workers, And God: Labor Song-Poems And Labor Protest, 1865-95], Nick Salvatore Jul 2012

[Review Of The Book For Democracy, Workers, And God: Labor Song-Poems And Labor Protest, 1865-95], Nick Salvatore

Nick Salvatore

[Excerpt] In this slim book, Clark D. Halker raises a series of complex and interrelated issues. Focusing on some 4,000 song-poems that appeared in the labour press in the late 19th century, Halker states that his purpose is to "expand knowledge of the musical and poetic history of the American working class;" to use these song-poems and their poets as "a lens into the larger world of Gilded-Age workers and labor protest;" and more specifically to examine the contours of a "movement culture" that, he acknowledges (14), was never coterminous with the whole of the working-class cultural experience. The ...


[Review Of The Book Icons Of Democracy: American Leaders As Heroes, Aristocrats, Dissenters And Democrats], Nick Salvatore Jul 2012

[Review Of The Book Icons Of Democracy: American Leaders As Heroes, Aristocrats, Dissenters And Democrats], Nick Salvatore

Nick Salvatore

[Excerpt] Icons of Democracy is a welcome change from the rather arid, often quantified analyses of political leadership so prevalent in academic writing. Well read in both primary and secondary sources, Miroff has deeply grounded his ideas in the rich historical context. In addition, he carefully chose his subjects and drew from their experiences central themes which, in divergent fashion, they also held in common. The resulting collective biography engages and challenges the reader. While partial to leaders in the dissenting tradition (they are "our true subversives and at times our truest democrats"), Miroff consistently points to the complexity of ...


[Review Of The Book Perspectives On American Labor History: The Problems Of Synthesis], Nick Salvatore Jul 2012

[Review Of The Book Perspectives On American Labor History: The Problems Of Synthesis], Nick Salvatore

Nick Salvatore

[Excerpt] Over the past two decades many claims have been made for what was once called the "new" labor history. Deeply influenced by European scholarship (especially by the British historian, E. P. Thompson) and by writings in cultural anthropology and sociology, this new history seemed to sweep all before it. In a tumble of discrete community studies and precise examinations of individual strikes lay the foundation of the new history's critique of the work of John K Commons and his associates, who had stressed an institutional analysis of labor's growth and development within a liberal, democratic capitalist society ...


[Review Of The Book The Cio, 1935-1955], Nick Salvatore Jun 2012

[Review Of The Book The Cio, 1935-1955], Nick Salvatore

Nick Salvatore

[Excerpt] Labor's upsurge in the 1930s remains for many even in our own time a source of inspiration and uplift. Those who are romantically inclined have long cherished the image of union militancy that attaches to that decade, a militancy that many have longed to see revived in recent years. Some contemporary union activists and their supporters, with more than a touch of a similar romanticism, frequently promote the claim that as the anti-union 1920s preceded the 1930s militancy, so too would the anti-union Reagan years give way to rekindled worker activism. Scholars as well have been influenced by ...


[Review Of The Book Meatpackers: An Oral History Of Black Packinghouse Workers And Their Struggle For Racial And Economic Equality], Nick Salvatore Jun 2012

[Review Of The Book Meatpackers: An Oral History Of Black Packinghouse Workers And Their Struggle For Racial And Economic Equality], Nick Salvatore

Nick Salvatore

[Excerpt] The Halpern and Horowitz volume, Meatpackers, follows creditably in this oral history tradition, even if it does not approach the power and complexity of Rosengarten's work. Instead of focusing on one individual, the book presents selections culled from a massive collection of oral interviews conducted by the authors with more than 125 former members of the United Packinghouse Workers of America (UPWA). The interviewees are black, white, and Hispanic, male and female, with records of activism in the union as far back as the 1930s and as recent as the 1980s. The events they recount occurred in five ...


[Review Of The Book Making A New Deal: Industrial Workers In Chicago, 1919-1939], Nick Salvatore Jun 2012

[Review Of The Book Making A New Deal: Industrial Workers In Chicago, 1919-1939], Nick Salvatore

Nick Salvatore

[Excerpt] This is a superb book. Lizabeth Cohen has attempted nothing less than a major reinterpretation of how industrial workers became deeply involved with the union organizing drives of the 1930s. Rather than focusing on external stimuli such as governmental actions, Cohen explores in great detail the ways in which changes in working people's own attitudes allowed them to be participants in, indeed makers of, their New Deal. Her themes are critically important, broadly conceived, and explored with imagination and verve. Her extensive research matches her intellectual vision, and she sensitively uses such diverse sources as advertising agency memoranda ...


[Review Of The Book Frederick W. Taylor And The Rise Of Scientific Management], Nick Salvatore Jun 2012

[Review Of The Book Frederick W. Taylor And The Rise Of Scientific Management], Nick Salvatore

Nick Salvatore

[Excerpt] Daniel Nelson has written an informative book that helps to explain important aspects of Taylor's life. But the analysis of the man, his influence, and the opposition both engendered is too narrowly cast to serve as a final rebuttal to Taylor's critics. By 1923, Nelson writes toward the end of his book, Taylor's reputation was secure and worker opposition to his approach was low: "The unionists had mellowed," Nelson comments. Yet the reader is never informed that this "mellowing" occurred in the midst of the most severe and pervasive anti-union campaign to that date in American ...


In The Jungle Of Cities [Review Of The Book Harold Washington And The Neighborhoods: Progressive City Reform In Chicago, 1983-1987], Nick Salvatore Jun 2012

In The Jungle Of Cities [Review Of The Book Harold Washington And The Neighborhoods: Progressive City Reform In Chicago, 1983-1987], Nick Salvatore

Nick Salvatore

[Excerpt] At first glance such a spatial transformation of work may seem positive, as indeed it was for the largely white work force that left the city and staffed these new positions. But left behind geographically, economically, and socially were the largely black (and to a lesser extent, Mexican) working-class residents. It was at this juncture, with jobs disappearing and the urban social structure fragmented, that black Chicago, symbolized in the person of Harold Washington, finally assumed political power. In Harold Washington and the Neighborhoods, editors Pierre Clavel and Wim Wiewel have collected a group of essays that examine the ...


[Review Of The Book The Trials Of Anthony Burns: Freedom And Slavery In Emerson's Boston], Nick Salvatore Jun 2012

[Review Of The Book The Trials Of Anthony Burns: Freedom And Slavery In Emerson's Boston], Nick Salvatore

Nick Salvatore

[Excerpt] The intellectual core of The Trials of Anthony Burns explores the connection between Ralph Waldo Emerson and the New England Transcendentalists and the abolitionist cause. Ideas effect social life, von Frank insists, and he examines that point in a rich analysis that weaves intellectual, religious, political, and cultural perspectives into a sophisticated and detailed narrative. Emersonians came to embrace abolitionist activity as a central component of their philosophical idealism, particularly during the i850s. In an interesting way, the Burns case called upon many of New England's social and cultural elites to rethink their understanding of the relationship between ...


[Review Of The Book ”Big Bill” Haywood], Nick Salvatore Jun 2012

[Review Of The Book ”Big Bill” Haywood], Nick Salvatore

Nick Salvatore

[Excerpt] This brief biography of William D. "Big Bill" Haywood, the charismatic leader of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) between 1905 and 1918, is an engaging introduction to Haywood's life. Although the volume was not intended to supplant Peter Carlson's Roughneck: The Life and Times of Big Bill Haywood (1983) or Melvyn Dubofsky's own impressive We Shall Be All: A History of the IWW (1969), this biography effectively sketches a number of the central juxtapositions that framed Haywood's life.