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General History

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  1. For All The People

    For All The People

    $20.00

    Uncovering the hidden history of cooperation, cooperative movements, and communalism in America

    by John Curl

    The survival of indigenous communities and the first European settlers alike depended on a deeply cooperative style of living and working, based around common lands, shared food and labor. Cooperative movements proved integral to the grassroots organizations and struggles challenging the domination of unbridled capitalism in America’s formative years. Holding aloft the vision for an alternative economic system based on cooperative industry, they have played a vital, and dynamic role in the struggle to create a better world.

    Seeking to reclaim a history that has remained largely ignored by most historians, this dramatic and stirring account examines each of the definitive American cooperative movements for social change—farmer, union, consumer, and communalist—that have been all but erased from collective memory. Focusing far beyond one particular era, organization, leader, or form of cooperation, For All the People documents the multigenerational struggle of the American working people for social justice. With an expansive sweep and breathtaking detail, the chronicle follows the American worker from the colonial workshop to the modern mass-assembly line, ultimately painting a vivid panorama of those who built the United States and those who will shape its future.
     
    John Curl, with over forty years of experience as both an active member and scholar of cooperatives, masterfully melds theory, practice, knowledge and analysis, to present the definitive history from below of cooperative America.

     

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  2. Homestead: The Households of a Mill Town

    Homestead: The Households of a Mill Town

    $27.95

    Homestead, first published in 1910 as one volume in the classic Pittsburgh Survey, describes daily life in a community that was dominated economically and physically by the giant Homestead Works of the United States Steel Corporation. Homestead, just across the Monongahela River from Pittsburgh, developed as a completely separate city -- a true mill town settled by newer immigrants and shaped in its attitudes by the infamous Homestead Strike of 1892. Learn More
  3. Inventing the Immigration Problem - The Dillingham Commission and Its Legacy

    Inventing the Immigration Problem - The Dillingham Commission and Its Legacy

    $30.00

    In 1907 the U.S. Congress created a joint commission to investigate what many Americans saw as a national crisis: an unprecedented number of immigrants flowing into the United States. Experts―women and men trained in the new field of social science―fanned out across the country to collect data on these fresh arrivals. The trove of information they amassed shaped how Americans thought about immigrants, themselves, and the nation’s place in the world. Katherine Benton-Cohen argues that the Dillingham Commission’s legacy continues to inform the ways that U.S. policy addresses questions raised by immigration, over a century later. Within a decade of its launch, almost all of the commission’s recommendations―including a literacy test, a quota system based on national origin, the continuation of Asian exclusion, and greater federal oversight of immigration policy―were implemented into law. Inventing the Immigration Problem describes the labyrinthine bureaucracy, broad administrative authority, and quantitative record-keeping that followed in the wake of these regulations. Their implementation marks a final turn away from an immigration policy motivated by executive-branch concerns over foreign policy and toward one dictated by domestic labor politics. The Dillingham Commission―which remains the largest immigration study ever conducted in the United States―reflects its particular moment in time when mass immigration, the birth of modern social science, and an aggressive foreign policy fostered a newly robust and optimistic notion of federal power. Its quintessentially Progressive formulation of America’s immigration problem, and its recommendations, endure today in almost every component of immigration policy, control, and enforcement. Learn More
  4. Iron & Steel: Class, Race, and Community in Birmingham, Alabama 1875-1920

    Iron & Steel: Class, Race, and Community in Birmingham, Alabama 1875-1920

    $10.00

    In this study of Birmingham's iron and steel workers, Henry McKiven unravels the complex connections between race relations and class struggle that shaped the city's social and economic order. He also traces the links between the process of class formation and the practice of community building and neighborhood politics. According to McKiven, the white men who moved to Birmingham soon after its founding to take jobs as skilled iron workers shared a free labor ideology that emphasized opportunity and equality between white employees and management at the expense of less skilled black laborers. But doubtful of their employers' commitment to white supremacy, they formed unions to defend their position within the racial order of the workplace. This order changed, however, when advances in manufacturing technology created more semiskilled jobs and broadened opportunities for black workers. McKiven shows how these race and class divisions also shaped working-class life away from the plant, as workers built neighborhoods and organized community and political associations that reinforced bonds of skill, race, and ethnicity. Learn More
  5. Labor Market Politics and the Great War

    Labor Market Politics and the Great War

    $30.00

    The Department of Labor, the States, and the Frist U.S. Employment Service, 1907-1933 During World War I, the Department of Labour established control of the labour market, which angered the states that had created their own employment services. This study examines how federalism influenced the development of government labour market policy in the early 20th century. Learn More
  6. Left Book Club Anthology

    Left Book Club Anthology

    $10.00

    The Left Book Club is something of a legend. Founded in 1936 to distribute cheap, radical books, it was a spectacular success, with nearly 60,000 members at its peak. Always controversial, its famous orange volumes told stories of life in Britain's industrial towns, rebellion in Hitler's Germany, and heroism in the Spanish Civil War. This anthology goes back to the monthly selections themselves and recaptures the fervor and idealism of the 1930s. It includes extracts from many of the Club's most popular books, including Orwell's The Road to Wigan Pier, Koestler's Spanish Testament, Edgar Snow's Red Star Over China, and Wilfred Macartney's Walls Have Mouths. Paul Laity introduces each extract and contributes an excellent general introduction explaining the political and cultural context of the Club. Learn More
  7. Left of the Left - My Memories of Sam Dolgoff

    Left of the Left - My Memories of Sam Dolgoff

    $22.00

    Sam Dolgoff (1902–1990) was a house painter by trade and member of the IWW from the early 1920s until his death. Sam, along with his wife Esther, was at the center of American anarchism for seventy years, bridging the movement's generations, providing continuity between past and present, and creating some of the most vital books and journals from the Great Depression through WWII, the Civil Rights era, and into the last decade of the century. This instant classic of radical history, written with passion and humor by his son, conjures images of a lost New York City, the faded power of immigrant and working-class neighborhoods, and the blurred lines dividing proletarian and intellectual culture. Learn More
  8. Managers and Workers: Origins of the Twentieth-Century Factory System in the United States, 1880–1920

    Managers and Workers: Origins of the Twentieth-Century Factory System in the United States, 1880–1920

    $15.00

    During the early years of this century, the classic factory system of the industrial revolution evolved rapidly into a new, identifiable form that would characterize American and world industry for most of the twentieth century. This transformation, as important for industrial managers, workers, and consumers as the initial creation of the factory, is the subject of Daniel Nelson’s illuminating synthesis, updated and expanded to include the scholarship of recent decades. This edition of Managers and Workers describes the interrelations between technological and organizational innovation, including such familiar developments as the spread of mass production and the emergence of scientific management, and other developments that were little known when the first edition of this book appeared, such as the revolution in factory architecture, the changing role of the foreman, and the spread of personnel work. The volume also incorporates the best scholarship of the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s, some of it stimulated by Managers and Workers, and includes a new chapter on the role of organized labor in the early twentieth-century factory. The focus of the work, however, remains the individual managers and workers who created the twentieth-century factory system. The preeminent historian of the American business firm, Alfred D. Chandler Jr. reviewed the first edition of Managers and Workers in The Journal of Economic History, predicting that this book would “long remain the standard work on the origins of the American factory.” The second edition will make that prediction true for the 1990s and beyond. Learn More
  9. Negototiating Hollywood

    Negototiating Hollywood

    $12.00

    Actors' screen images have too often stolen the focus of attention from their behind the scenes working conditions. In Negotiating Hollywood, Danae Clark begins to fill this gap in film history by providing a rich historical account of actors' labor struggles in 1930s Hollywood. Taking the formation of the Screen Actors Guild in 1933 as its investigative centerpiece, Negotiating Hollywood examines the ways in which actors' contracts, studio labor policies and public relations efforts, films, fan magazines, and other documents were all involved in actors' struggles to assert their labor power and define their own images. Clark supplies information not only on stars, but on screen extras, whose role in the Hollywood film industry has remained hitherto undocumented. Learn More
  10. News of the Spanish Revolution

    News of the Spanish Revolution

    $6.00

    Members of the North American revolutionary syndicalist union Industrial Workers of the World (I.W.W.) have always followed international struggles with great interest. In 1936, when the Spanish Revolution began, they were inspired by the part played by the anarchist-led Spanish labor union confederation, the CNT, and the endeavor to create a self-governing egalitarian society. From the IWWs critical understanding of the danger posed by the authoritarian left, including the Communist parties of the world and the government of the Soviet Union, they were on their guard against the behavior of these groups in Spain. In the IWW press people like Joseph Wagner wrote and translated articles about the Spanish situation, offering alternative perspectives not available in either the Communist or liberal press. This collection contains some of these articles, offering a sample of what English-speaking anti-authoritarians could read about the Spanish Revolution in the late 1930s. In addition, the pamphlet contains two articles published later about participants experiences. One is by Russell Blackwell, who became an anarcho-syndicalist as a result of his experiences in Spain. The final article is about Federico Arcos, a Spanish anarchist veteran of the revolution. It provides a glimpse into what the anarchists of Spain experienced and what the participation of international fighters who went to Spain meant to them. Learn More

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