Covering locales as diverse as Atlanta, Richmond, Tampa, and Houston, the essays encompass issues related to the specialized jobs of building ships and airplanes in the defense industries of World War II and to the unskilled work of oyster shuckers and cigar tobacco "stemmers." Heeding issues of race gender, and class in labor history, Labor in the Modern South includes an analysis of how young female workers spent their wages and an account of how purported underground unions of domestic workers fed white anxieties about the loosening hold of Jim Crow. Additional materials include an interview with, and an afterword by, Gary Fink, one of the foremost senior scholars in American labor history.
Filled with new insights into southerners' concerns about workplace safety, access to training, job mobility, and worker solidarity, these essays offer a sophisticated and inclusive interpretation of twentieth-century labor.
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