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Free Labor: The Civil War And The Making Of An American Working Class.

Lause, Mark A.

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ISBN 10: 0252039335 / ISBN 13: 9780252039331
Published by University of Illinois Press, Urbana and Chicago, 2015
New Condition: New Hardcover
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296 pages. Hardcover as issued without dustjacket. New book. UNITED STATES CIVIL WAR. National catastrophe and the evolution of the labor movement Monumental and revelatory, Free Labor explores labor activism throughout the country during a period of incredible diversity and fluidity: the American Civil War. Mark A. Lause describes how the working class radicalized during the war as a response to economic crisis, the political opportunity created by the election of Abraham Lincoln, and the ideology of free labor and abolition. His account moves from battlefield and picket line to the negotiating table, as he discusses how leaders and the rank-and-file alike adapted tactics and modes of operation to specific circumstances. His close attention to women and African Americans, meanwhile, dismantles notions of the working class as synonymous with whiteness and maleness. In addition, Lause offers a nuanced consideration of race's role in the politics of national labor organizations, in segregated industries in the border North and South, and in black resistance in the secessionist South, creatively reading self-emancipation as the largest general strike in U.S. history. Mark A. Lause is a professor of American history at the University of Cincinnati. He is the author of A Secret Society History of the Civil War and Race and Radicalism in the Union Army. "A major contribution in tying together the disparate labor movements throughout the United States in the Civil War years and in showing the continued strength of antebellum labor radicalism tied to abolition."--Gerald Friedman, author of Reigniting the Labor Movement: Restoring Means to Ends in a Democratic Labor Movement "Lause's study grapples with an almost infinite number of organizations, crafts, tactics, and settings. He focuses not only upon widely known leaders and theoreticians, but resurrects ordinary workers who struggled on the battlefield and the picket line. His ability to follow individuals from union organizations to the battlefield frankly made my jaw drop."--Adam Tuchinsky, author of Horace Greeley's New-York Tribune: Civil War Era-Socialism and the Crisis of Free Labor "In his book Free Labor, Mark Lause has answered so many questions about how the trade union movement and free labor advocates participated in the American Civil War and navigated its sea changes. He demonstrates how in the words of one Iowa harnessmaker, the war 'was a great labor movement.' As the history of ideology, Lause shows how the malleable idea of free labor served as the aspiration of slaves and other workers as well. As social history, the book serves as an important bridge to connect the extensive literature on laborers in the early American republic to that on post-war railroad unions. Lause shows how trade union proponents in skilled trades went to war in leadership positions and battle in the Federal Union army. At home, during the war, working men and women continued to press for shorter working hours and wages to keep up with the rising prices that the war produced. He identifies how working people fared and pushed for reforms during the four critical war years. By analyzing the digitized newspaper collections, Lause has found the many lost pockets of strike activity, such as the great slave strike, and he documents which strikes won and which lost. From the navy yards to the print shops, collective action continued during the war. This book contains treasures." --Lea S. VanderVelde, author of Redemption Songs: Suing for Freedom before Dred Scott (Key Words: Mark A. Lause, Abraham Lincoln, Working Class African American Men & Women After United States Civil War, Working Class White Men & Women After United States Civil War, Trade Union Movement & The United States Civil War, Free Labor Advocates & The United States Civil War). Bookseller Inventory # 84755X1

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Free Labor: The Civil War And The Making Of ...

Publisher: University of Illinois Press, Urbana and Chicago

Publication Date: 2015

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition: New

Book Type: book

About this title

Synopsis:

Monumental and revelatory, Free Labor explores labor activism throughout the country during a period of incredible diversity and fluidity: the American Civil War.
 
Mark A. Lause describes how the working class radicalized during the war as a response to economic crisis, the political opportunity created by the election of Abraham Lincoln, and the ideology of free labor and abolition. Grappling with a broad array of organizations, tactics, and settings, Lause portrays not only the widely known leaders and theoreticians, but also the unsung workers who struggled on the battlefield and the picket line. His close attention to women and African Americans, meanwhile, dismantles notions of the working class as synonymous with whiteness and maleness.
 
In addition, Lause offers a nuanced consideration of race's role in the politics of national labor organizations, in segregated industries in the border North and South, and in black resistance in the secessionist South, creatively reading self-emancipation as the largest general strike in U.S. history.

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National catastrophe and the evolution of the labor movement

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