Labor in America
A HistoryBook - 2004
Even since the last edition of this milestone text was released six years ago, unions have continued to shed members; union membership in the private sector of the economy has fallen to levels not seen since the nineteenth century; the forces of economic liberalization (neo-liberalism), capital mobility, and globalization have affected measurably the material standard of living enjoyed by workers in the United States; and mass immigration from the Southern Hemisphere and Asia has continued to restructure the domestic labor force.
Yet even in the face of anti-union legislation, a continuing decline in the number of organized workers, and the fear of stateless, if not faceless terrorism—the shadow of “911” in which we still live, in preparing this new edition of his classic text Professor Dubofsky has hewn to the lines laid out in the previous seven in seeking to encourage today’s students of labor history to learn about those who built the United States and who will shape its future.
In addition to taking the narrative right up to the present, a recent history that includes the election of 2008 as well as the tumultuous blow suffered by the U.S. and world economy in 2008-09, this eighth edition features an entirely new (fourth) bank of photographs and, in light of the avalanche of new scholarly work over the last decade, a complete overhauling of the book’s extensive and critical Further Readings section in order to note the very best works from the profuse recent scholarship that explores the history of working people in all its diversity.
Carrying the narrative to the year 2003 in the new edition of his history of Labor, a revised version of a work first authored by Foster Rhea Dulles, Dubofsky (State U. of New York at Binghamton) traces the politics and economics of laborers and labor unions, beginning his narrative in colonial America. Among the topics explored are the role of workers in the American Revolution, the growth of labor unions, the impact of industrialism, the rise of a national labor union, the impact of the radical Industrial Workers of the World (the Wobblies), the impact of the New Deal, and the decline of the unions in recent years. Annotation ©2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)