Chicago’s importance as a center of labor activity hardly needs repeating in this publication; however, such an extensively researched location is not necessarily an exhausted one, as this recent work by William A. Mirola proves. Redeeming Time focuses on a small but important sliver of that story: the largely ignored intersections and interactions between Protestant clergy and labor activists in the city of Chicago during its rise as an industrial metropolis. Mirola anchors his narrative around the eight-hour movement in order to give form and direction to his detailed analysis. In essence, this is a book about failure, the failure of Protestant clergy to influence employers to “humanize the work place,” as Robert Bruno details in the rear of the volume (235), and their failure to present an appealing Protestant vision to the largely Catholic immigrant workforce in Chicago.

If failure is the central theme of the book, it is...

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