The Coming of Industrial Order: Town and Factory Life in Rural Massachusetts, 1810-1860

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9780521313964: The Coming of Industrial Order: Town and Factory Life in Rural Massachusetts, 1810-1860

This study of antebellum industrialisation in several communities in rural Massachusetts illuminates what industrialisation meant in the early to mid nineteenth-century. Jonathan Prude probes the tensions produced by the conflict between innovation and the received attitudes and institutions that still shaped daily existence. Two connected but discrete areas of tension emerged: that between workers and managers within certain manufacturing establishments (especially textiles), and between manufacturers and the communities in which they were located. The book demonstrates that antebellum industrialisation had a rural as well as an urban dimension and that, far from being the untroubled process described by some historians, it was a phenomenon characterised by deep conflict.

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About the Author:

Jonathan Prude teaches history and American Studies at Emory University.

Review:

"A major contribution to our understanding of the human consequences of the coming of factory industry. . . . A superbly crafted, imaginative, and exciting book."?Social History

"Adds to the growing list of important revisionist studies of American industrialization. Indeed, even in the context of these distinguished works, Prude's book stands out. No other historian has analyzed with such clarity, subtlety, and detail the deep-seated and complex tensions and conflicts that the coming of the factory system engendered."?Labor History

"Those who believe there is little more to be said of New England textile operatives are in for a pleasant surprise. Jonathan Prude's study not only makes an important contribution to this genre but also redirects historical inquiry into the behavior of non-unionized wage earners. . . . Prude handles the class conflicts within textiles with consummate skill and subtlety. . . . [His] inventive analysis of worker resistance without unions or dramatic strikes marks a major breakthrough."?American Historical Review

"A superb work, certainly one of the best monographs in the field. It ranks with the work of Thomas Dublin and Alan Dawley. In many ways, Prude's book is more original because of the materials he dealt with. Fragments of evidence are pieced together in a stunning fashion to create a world of work and life. His examination of mobility is very original and very important. His treatment of the tensions between the town and the factory is outstanding."?Herbert G. Gutman, author of Power and Culture: Essays on the American Working Class

"Prude's book ranks among the very best studies of early industrial communities published during the past twenty years. . . . It is required reading for all graduate students in our program who are preparing for general examinations in labor history and the history of technology."?Merritt Roe Smith, MIT

"I regard Prude's book as one of the truly outstanding 19th-century labor/social histories to have been published during the past three decades, and it may well be the very best study we have of the early New England textile industry. I say this not only because of the quality of the work and the significance of the argument, but also because it intersects with a number of important historiographical debates and concerns: the transformation of the countryside, early working-class formation, the relation between industry and agriculture, the emergence of an industrial labor market, and the very concept of class itself."?Steven Hahn, Northwestern University

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Prude, Jonathan
Published by Cambridge University Press (1985)
ISBN 10: 0521313961 ISBN 13: 9780521313964
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