Cradle to Grave

Cradle to Grave : Life, Work, and Death at the Lake Superior Copper Mines

4.07 (26 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

Concentrating on technology, economics, labor, and social history, Cradle to Grave documents the full life cycle of one of America's great mineral ranges from the 1840s to the 1960s. Lankton examines the workers' world underground, but is equally concerned with the mining communities on the surface. For the first fifty years of development, these mining communities remained remarkably harmonious, even while new, large companies obliterated traditional forms of organization and work within the industry. By 1890, however, the Lake Superior copper industry of upper Michigan started facing many challenges, including strong economic competition and a declining profit margin; growing worker dissatisfaction with both living and working conditions; and erosion of the companies' hegemony in a district they once controlled. Lankton traces technological changes within the mines and provides a thorough investigation of mine accidents and safety. He then focuses on social and labor history, dealing especially with the issue of how company paternalism exerted social control over the work force. A social history of technology, Cradle to Grave will appeal to labor, social and business historians.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 352 pages
  • 154.9 x 231.6 x 18.8mm | 598.75g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 0195083571
  • 9780195083576

Review quote

Much of this ground has been covered before....but nobody has ever done as thorough a job of melding together all of the elements in the industry's history as has Lankton. * Journal of American Ethnic History * Lankton gives a fine analysis of life and work in the mines and traces in detail the important technological changes taking place by fits and starts between 1845 and 1910....a significant piece of work. Thoroughly researched and thoughtfully written with grace and clarity. * Montana * An absolutely superb study. Few authors have done as good a job of integrating social, business and economic history with the history of technology and historical geography. * David Killick, University of Arizona * Cradle to Grave provides a fascinating account of the history of the copper mines of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. * The Journal of American History * Cradle to Grave is a comprehensive business, social, and ethnic history that belongs on the bookshelf of anyone seriously interested in nineteenth- and twentieth-century mining, ethnic, business, and social history. * Detroit Free Press * Cradle to Grave should serve as a model for historians of technology and labor historians as to how both can benefit by combining their interests and thereby deepening their understanding....Lankton writes clearly and with a passion rarely seen in academic writers....Anyone who is interested in Michigan's history will find this a very hard book to put down. * Michigan Historical Review * This is excellent scholarship that fills a void in regional and mining history literature. * Minnesota History * The single-best treatment ever written of the development of Michigan's copper mining region. It breaks new ground with its incisive analysis....One of the finest books written on the history of mining, a welcome addition to the literature on the history of the Great Lakes region, and a real path-breaking work combining the history of technology, work, and business in an extremely readable and enjoyable volume. * Annals of The American Academy of Political and Social Science * Lankton's study is thematic, taking the reader from the heart of the mines to the rock-crushers on the surface and ethnic residential clusters that surrounded them. It includes admirably clear descriptions of complex technologies and their evolution; has powerful passages on accidents, safety practices, and usually humane company supports for the maimed or widowed; and it is written in a vigorous and engaging style. * American Historical Review * A well-researched, interesting account of the rise and decline of the copper mining industry in Michigan's Keweenaw Peninsula....Focuses on a hitherto neglected aspect of industrial development, and will particularly interest readers concerned with the history of technology and the evolution of corporate labor policies. * Choice * Should appeal to a large and varied audience....I recommend it to all readers who enjoy stories of the past. * Wisconsin Magazine of History * Will be quite useful to historians...for its many insights into the paternalistic approach to management, especially in its mediation of technological and economic change. * Industrial and Labor Relations Review * Offers rich and thoughtful accounts of technological change as it transformed copper mining....Lankton has offered a penetrating exploration of an important sector of American mining and a model for exploring the interconnections of technological change, management policies, and workplace traditions during industrialization. * Technology and Culture * Precisely what is needed in the field: a work which combines personal experience, community life, descriptions of work and a specific physical environment. It allows readers to `feel' what life was like for these miners and their families. * Patrick Gagnon, Silver Lake College * An exceptionally thoughtful, thorough and well-integrated account of labor, business, community and technological change in a fundamental sector of America's second industrial revolution. * Philip Scranton, Rutgers University *show more

About Larry Lankton

Larry Lankton is the Associate Professor of History at Michigan Technological University.show more

Rating details

26 ratings
4.07 out of 5 stars
5 27% (7)
4 58% (15)
3 12% (3)
2 4% (1)
1 0% (0)
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