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The Work Ethic in Industrial America 1850-1920


The Work Ethic in Industrial America 1850-1920 Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The phrase “a strong work ethic” conjures images of hard-driving employees working diligently for long hours. But where did this ideal come from, and how has it been buffeted by changes in work itself? While seemingly rooted in Americas Puritan heritage, perceptions of work ethic have actually undergone multiple transformations over the centuries. And few eras saw a more radical shift in labor ideology than the American industrial age.

Daniel T. Rodgers masterfully explores the ways in which the eclipse of small-scale workshops by mechanized production and mass consumption triggered far-reaching shifts in perceptions of labor, leisure, and personal success.  He also shows how the new work culture permeated society, including literature, politics, the emerging feminist movement, and the labor movement.

A staple of courses in the history of American labor and industrial society, Rodgerss sharp analysis is sure to find a new audience, as twenty-first-century workers face another shift brought about by technology. The Work Ethic in Industrial America 1850–1920 is a classic with critical relevance in todays volatile economic times.

About the Author

Daniel T. Rodgers

Table of Contents

Preface to the Second Edition



1. Work Ideals and the Industrial Invasion

2. Hireling Laborer

3. “Mechanicalized” Men

4. Play, Repose, and Plenty

5. Splinterings: Fables for Boys

6. Sons of Toil: Industrial Workers and Their Labor

7. Idle Womanhood: Feminist Versions of the Work Ethic

8. The Political Uses of Work Rhetoric

Epilogue: Charles W. Eliot and the Quest for Joyful Labor



Product Details

Rodgers, Daniel T.
University of Chicago Press
United States - 19th Century
US History-19th Century
Edition Description:
Second Edition
Publication Date:
8.5 x 5.5 in

Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Anthropology » Cultural Anthropology
History and Social Science » Politics » General
History and Social Science » Politics » United States » Politics
History and Social Science » US History » 19th Century
History and Social Science » US History » 20th Century » General
History and Social Science » US History » General

The Work Ethic in Industrial America 1850-1920 New Trade Paper
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Product details 336 pages University of Chicago Press - English 9780226136233 Reviews:
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