Workers Unite: The American Labor Movement, 1st Edition

  • Kevin Hillstrom
  • Published By:
  • ISBN-10: 0780811321
  • ISBN-13: 9780780811324
  • DDC: 331.880973
  • Grade Level Range: 9th Grade - College Senior
  • 236 Pages | eBook
  • Original Copyright 2011 | Published/Released January 2011
  • This publication's content originally published in print form: 2011

  • Price:  Sign in for price



Defining Moments: Workers Unite! The American labor Movement is divided into three primary sections. The first, the Narrative Overview, provides an in-depth survey of the history of the American labor movement from its earliest origins to the present day. The volume includes comprehensive coverage of the colonial foundations of the American workplace, the impact of nineteenth-century industrialization and free market capitalism on workers and the wider American society, and major events and individuals that drove the growth of labor unions during the Progressive, New Deal, and post-World War II eras. It also chronicles the declining influence of the labor movement over the past half-century and examines various proposals for revitalizing American unions in the twenty-first century.

The second, Biographies, provides valuable biographical background on America's most famous and influential labor leaders. Profiled individuals range from early pioneers in labor organizing and activism, including Samuel Gompers, Eugene Debs, and Mother Jones, to later labor giants like Walter Reuther and George Meany. Each biography concludes with a list of sources for further information on the profiled individual.

The third, Primary Sources, collects essential and illuminating documents related to the evolution of labor unions in the United States. Other documents included in this section feature perspectives on labor issues from such diverse sources as United Mine Workers President John L. Lewis and President Ronald Reagan.

Table of Contents

Front Cover.
Half Title Page.
Title Page.
Copyright Page.
Table of Contents.
How to Use This Book.
Research Topics for Workers Unite! The American Labor Movement.
1: Narrative Overview.
2: Prologue.
3: American Workers in an Industrializing World.
4: Sweat and Blood.
5: Radicals, Progressives, and the Working Man.
6: The New Deal Lifts Unions.
7: Banner Days for American Unions.
8: Down a Path of Permanent Decline?.
9: Biographies.
10: Debs, Eugene V. (1855-1926).
11: Gompers, Samuel (1850-1924).
12: Haywood, William “Big Bill” (1869-1928).
13: Hoffa, Jimmy (1913-1975).
14: Jones, Mary Harris “Mother” (1837-1930).
15: Lewis, John L. (1880-1969).
16: Meany, George (1894-1980).
17: Reuther, Walter P. (1907-1970).
18: Primary Sources.
19: A Textile Mill Worker Mourns the Hardships of the Factory System, 1845.
20: The Knights of Labor Explain Their Cause and Issue Demands, 1878.
21: Eugene Debs Asks “What Can We Do for Working People?” 1890.
22: Samuel Gompers Answers the Question, “What Does Labor Want?” 1893.
23: Clarence Darrow Defends Unions in the “Trial of the Century,” 1907.
24: Investigating the Ludlow Massacre, 1915.
25: Laying the Groundwork for the National Labor Relations Act, 1935.
26: Remembering the Flint Sit-Down Strike, 1937.
27: Walter Reuther Discusses Labor’s Role in Building a Better Society, 1952.
28: The AFL and CIO Reunite, 1955.
29: Confronting Union Corruption, 1957.
30: President Ronald Reagan Comments on the Air Traffic Controller Strike, 1981.
31: Debating the Future of Unions, 2009.
32: One Labor Leader’s Perspective on the Future of American Unions, 2010.
33: Important People, Places, and Terms.
Sources for Further Study.
Photo and Illustration Credits.