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Other titles in the Politics and Society in Twentieth-Century America series:

Divided We Stand: American Workers and the Struggle for Black Equality (Politics and Society in Twentieth-Century America)

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Divided We Stand: American Workers and the Struggle for Black Equality (Politics and Society in Twentieth-Century America) Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

"Few books fundamentally reshape intellectual and political debates. This one deserves and promises to do so. No scholar since W.E.B. Du Bois has brought to the study of race and labor in the United States such broad sweep, human detail, and conceptual sophistication. None has given us an account which so aptly combines balanced judgments with a tone which is at once tragic and sympathetic."--David Roediger, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

"Divided We Stand skillfully examines the complex and often contradictory history of the American labor movement through the shifting contexts of racial and class hierarchies. Superbly crafted and clearly argued, Divided We Stand explains how and why race was so central to the making of the white American working class. In this impressive study, Bruce Nelson shows how the new labor history should be written."--Manning Marable, Columbia University

"Divided We Stand is our twenty-first-century 'Making of the American Working Class.' Combining the passion and insight of E. P. Thompson and W.E.B. DuBois, Bruce Nelson tells the story of class and racial formation on the docks and steel mills and explains why solidarity can never be built on mere 'stomach equality.' While presenting an irrefutable case for white racism as American labor's Achille's heel, Nelson never accepts the outcome as a fait accompli. On the contrary, you will discover challenges to white supremacy, paths not taken, and possibilities not yet realized that can point the way to the unmaking of American racism and the remaking of a revitalized labor movement built on racial justice."--Robin D. G. Kelley, author of Race Rebels: Culture, Politics, and the Black Working Class

"In a series of important articles over the past few years, Bruce Nelson has established himself as one of the foremost historians writing on the explosive issue of race and labor in the twentieth century. Divided We Stand is therefore a much-anticipated book. It will attract a good deal of attention, and deservedly so. It is an outstanding work of history."--Kevin Boyle, University of Massachusetts

Synopsis:

"Few books fundamentally reshape intellectual and political debates. This one deserves and promises to do so. No scholar since W.E.B. Du Bois has brought to the study of race and labor in the United States such broad sweep, human detail, and conceptual sophistication. None has given us an account which so aptly combines balanced judgments with a tone which is at once tragic and sympathetic."--David Roediger, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

"Divided We Stand skillfully examines the complex and often contradictory history of the American labor movement through the shifting contexts of racial and class hierarchies. Superbly crafted and clearly argued, Divided We Stand explains how and why race was so central to the making of the white American working class. In this impressive study, Bruce Nelson shows how the new labor history should be written."--Manning Marable, Columbia University

"Divided We Stand is our twenty-first-century 'Making of the American Working Class.' Combining the passion and insight of E. P. Thompson and W.E.B. DuBois, Bruce Nelson tells the story of class and racial formation on the docks and steel mills and explains why solidarity can never be built on mere 'stomach equality.' While presenting an irrefutable case for white racism as American labor's Achille's heel, Nelson never accepts the outcome as a fait accompli. On the contrary, you will discover challenges to white supremacy, paths not taken, and possibilities not yet realized that can point the way to the unmaking of American racism and the remaking of a revitalized labor movement built on racial justice."--Robin D. G. Kelley, author of Race Rebels: Culture, Politics, and the Black Working Class

"In a series of important articles over the past few years, Bruce Nelson has established himself as one of the foremost historians writing on the explosive issue of race and labor in the twentieth century. Divided We Stand is therefore a much-anticipated book. It will attract a good deal of attention, and deservedly so. It is an outstanding work of history."--Kevin Boyle, University of Massachusetts

Synopsis:

Divided We Stand is a study of how class and race have intersected in American society--above all, in the "making" and remaking of the American working class in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Focusing mainly on longshoremen in the ports of New York, New Orleans, and Los Angeles, and on steelworkers in many of the nation's steel towns, it examines how European immigrants became American and "white" in the crucible of the industrial workplace and the ethnic and working-class neighborhood.

As workers organized on the job, especially during the overlapping CIO and civil rights eras in the middle third of the twentieth century, trade unions became a vital arena in which "old" and "new" immigrants and black migrants forged new alliances and identities and tested the limits not only of class solidarity but of American democracy. The most volatile force in this regard was the civil rights movement. As it crested in the 1950s and '60s, "the Movement" confronted unions anew with the question, "Which side are you on?" This book demonstrates the complex ways in which labor organizations answered that question and the complex relationships between union leaders and diverse rank-and-file constituencies in addressing it.

Divided We Stand includes vivid examples of white working-class "agency" in the construction of racially discriminatory employment structures. But Nelson is less concerned with racism as such than with the concrete historical circumstances in which racialized class identities emerged and developed. This leads him to a detailed and often fascinating consideration of white, working-class ethnicity but also to a careful analysis of black workers--their conditions of work, their aspirations and identities, their struggles for equality. Making its case with passion and clarity, Divided We Stand will be a compelling and controversial book.

About the Author

Bruce Nelson is Professor of History at Dartmouth College. His first book, Workers on the Waterfront, was awarded the Frederick Jackson Turner Prize by the Organization of American Historians. His next book will be an exploration of the process of "becoming Irish" in the Irish diaspora, with a particular focus on the ports of New York and Liverpool.

Table of Contents

Illustrations ix

Acknowledgments xi

Permissions xvii

INTRODUCTION "Something in the 'Atmosphere' of America" xix

PART ONE: Longshoremen 1

CHAPTER 1 The Logic and Limits of Solidarity, 1850s-1920s 3

CHAPTER 2 New York: "They . . . Helped to Create Themselves Out of What They Found Around Them" 46

CHAPTER 3 Waterfront Unionism and "Race Solidarity": From the Crescent City to the City of Angels 89

PART TWO: Steelworkers 143

CHAPTER 4 Ethnicity and Race in Steel's Nonunion Era 145

CHAPTER 5 "Regardless of Creed, Color or Nationality": Steelworkers and Civil Rights (I) 185

CHAPTER 6 "We Are Determined to Secure Justice Now": Steelworkers and Civil Rights (II) 219

CHAPTER 7 "The Steel Was Hot, the Jobs Were Dirty, and It Was War": Class, Race, and Working-Class Agency in Youngstown 251

EPILOGUE "Other Energies, Other Dreams": Toward a New labor Movement 287

NOTES 297

INDEX 377

Product Details

ISBN:
9780691095349
Author:
Nelson, Bruce
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Location:
Princeton, N.J.
Subject:
General
Subject:
United States - 20th Century
Subject:
Discrimination in employment
Subject:
Race discrimination
Subject:
African Americans
Subject:
American history
Subject:
Political Science and International Relations
Subject:
Sociology
Subject:
Politics - General
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series:
Politics and Society in Twentieth-Century American (Paperback)
Series Volume:
2
Publication Date:
December 2001
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
College/higher education:
Language:
English
Illustrations:
26 halftones
Pages:
440
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in 21 oz

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » African American Studies » General
History and Social Science » Ethnic Studies » Racism and Ethnic Conflict
History and Social Science » Politics » General
History and Social Science » US History » 20th Century » General

Divided We Stand: American Workers and the Struggle for Black Equality (Politics and Society in Twentieth-Century America) New Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$42.95 In Stock
Product details 440 pages Princeton University Press - English 9780691095349 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , "Few books fundamentally reshape intellectual and political debates. This one deserves and promises to do so. No scholar since W.E.B. Du Bois has brought to the study of race and labor in the United States such broad sweep, human detail, and conceptual sophistication. None has given us an account which so aptly combines balanced judgments with a tone which is at once tragic and sympathetic."--David Roediger, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

"Divided We Stand skillfully examines the complex and often contradictory history of the American labor movement through the shifting contexts of racial and class hierarchies. Superbly crafted and clearly argued, Divided We Stand explains how and why race was so central to the making of the white American working class. In this impressive study, Bruce Nelson shows how the new labor history should be written."--Manning Marable, Columbia University

"Divided We Stand is our twenty-first-century 'Making of the American Working Class.' Combining the passion and insight of E. P. Thompson and W.E.B. DuBois, Bruce Nelson tells the story of class and racial formation on the docks and steel mills and explains why solidarity can never be built on mere 'stomach equality.' While presenting an irrefutable case for white racism as American labor's Achille's heel, Nelson never accepts the outcome as a fait accompli. On the contrary, you will discover challenges to white supremacy, paths not taken, and possibilities not yet realized that can point the way to the unmaking of American racism and the remaking of a revitalized labor movement built on racial justice."--Robin D. G. Kelley, author of Race Rebels: Culture, Politics, and the Black Working Class

"In a series of important articles over the past few years, Bruce Nelson has established himself as one of the foremost historians writing on the explosive issue of race and labor in the twentieth century. Divided We Stand is therefore a much-anticipated book. It will attract a good deal of attention, and deservedly so. It is an outstanding work of history."--Kevin Boyle, University of Massachusetts

"Synopsis" by , Divided We Stand is a study of how class and race have intersected in American society--above all, in the "making" and remaking of the American working class in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Focusing mainly on longshoremen in the ports of New York, New Orleans, and Los Angeles, and on steelworkers in many of the nation's steel towns, it examines how European immigrants became American and "white" in the crucible of the industrial workplace and the ethnic and working-class neighborhood.

As workers organized on the job, especially during the overlapping CIO and civil rights eras in the middle third of the twentieth century, trade unions became a vital arena in which "old" and "new" immigrants and black migrants forged new alliances and identities and tested the limits not only of class solidarity but of American democracy. The most volatile force in this regard was the civil rights movement. As it crested in the 1950s and '60s, "the Movement" confronted unions anew with the question, "Which side are you on?" This book demonstrates the complex ways in which labor organizations answered that question and the complex relationships between union leaders and diverse rank-and-file constituencies in addressing it.

Divided We Stand includes vivid examples of white working-class "agency" in the construction of racially discriminatory employment structures. But Nelson is less concerned with racism as such than with the concrete historical circumstances in which racialized class identities emerged and developed. This leads him to a detailed and often fascinating consideration of white, working-class ethnicity but also to a careful analysis of black workers--their conditions of work, their aspirations and identities, their struggles for equality. Making its case with passion and clarity, Divided We Stand will be a compelling and controversial book.

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