Beginning with labor historians’ efforts to create a synthesis of the field in the 1980s, this essay explores the problem of working-class political fragmentation and the intellectual problems that posed for the generation of “new” labor historians. Looking to culture, class, community, and control as their themes, historians overlooked deeper problems in American class formation as well as the monumental complexity of discussing the history of class in the United States.
Red History, Blue Mood: Labor History and Solidarity in an Age of Fragmentation
JEFFERSON COWIE is the author of The Great Exception: The New Deal and the Limits of American Politics (2015) and Stayin’ Alive: The 1970s and the Last Days of the Working Class (2010), among other works. He teaches at Vanderbilt University, where he holds the James G. Stahlman Chair in American History.
Jefferson Cowie; Red History, Blue Mood: Labor History and Solidarity in an Age of Fragmentation. Labor 1 December 2019; 16 (4): 35–47. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/15476715-7790246
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