Good, Reliable, White Men
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Good, Reliable, White Men : Railroad Brotherhoods, 1877-1917

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&&LI&& Normal 0 false false false MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ansi-language:#0400; mso-fareast-language:#0400; mso-bidi-language:#0400;} This engaging study provides an account of the independent railroad brotherhoods from the period of their formation in the 1860s and '70s to the consolidation of their power on the eve of World War I. By commanding the attention of U.S. presidents and establishing the eight-hour workday, railroad brotherhoods employed responsible trade unionism to their advantage. Paul Michel Taillon focuses on the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers, the Order of Railway Conductors, the Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen, and the Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen to investigate the impact of these unions on early twentieth-century politics and society. Notorious for their conservative bent and exclusiveness based on race and trade, the unions also demonstrated a capacity for change and a particular acumen for negotiating in political and public circles, all but guaranteeing brotherhood survival. In highlighting the successes and failures of these railroad unions, Taillon shows how they employed capitalist principles; how they were influenced by considerations of gender, race, and class; and how they prompted momentous debates about the proper relationships among government, private enterprise, labor, and management.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 296 pages
  • 152.4 x 226.06 x 25.4mm | 476.27g
  • University of Illinois Press
  • Baltimore, United States
  • English
  • 0252076788
  • 9780252076787
  • 92,975

Review quote

"Engaging, well written, and well researched. It is a must-read for anyone interested not only in the history of workers and unions in late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century America but also society, culture, and politics in Gilded Age and Progressive Era America."--The Journal of American History "A well-document, lucid account of railway labor organizations during a crucial period. . . . Highly recommended."--Choice "Successfully presents a portrait of the contradictory legacy of the railroad unions--ahead of their time in realizing the need for state intervention to protect workers' rights, yet obstructionist in preserving white-skinned privilege for some of the most highly skilled workers of the industrializing era."--Labor Studies Journal "A breakthrough book that integrates gender and race into an understanding of the politics of class consciousness on the American railroads. . . . Should be widely read, not only as first-rate history but also as an object lesson for social reformers."--EH.NETshow more

Table of contents

Acknowledgments; List of Abbreviations; Introduction: Reconsidering the Railroad Brotherhoods; Chapter 1. Workplace and Household Life in the Running Trades; Chapter 2. Victorian America and the Brotherhoods' Fraternal Culture; Chapter 3. Free-Labor Ideology and Labor Relations in the Gilded Age; Chapter 4. The Crisis of the 1890s and the Reordering of Railroad Labor Relations; Chapter 5. Progressive Era America and the Culture of the New Unionism; Chapter 6. Craft Industrialism and the Arbitration System; Chapter 7. Political Action, Industrial Action and the Making of the Liberal State; Conclusion; Notes; Indexshow more

About Paul Michel Taillon

Paul Michel Taillon is a senior lecturer in the History Department at the University of Auckland, New Zealand.show more