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The Archaeology of American Labor and Working-Class Life

Paul A. Shackel (author)

ISBN: 9780813038025

Publication Date: Sep 2011

Format: Paperback

Also available as: Hardback  

The winners write history. Thus, it is no surprise that the story of American industrialization is dominated by tales of unbridled technical and social progress. What happens, though, when we take a closer look at the archaeological record? That is the focus of this book, which examines labour and working-class life in nineteenth- and early twentieth-century industrial America.
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The winners write history. Thus, it is no surprise that the story of American industrialization is dominated by tales of unbridled technical and social progress. What happens, though, when we take a closer look at the archaeological record? That is the focus of Paul Shackel's new book, which examines labor and working-class life in nineteenth- and early twentieth-century industrial America.

Shackel offers an overview of a number of ongoing archaeology projects that are focused on reconstructing the capital-labor relations of the past. He demonstrates that worker unrest has been a constant feature of industrialization, as the fight for fair wages and decent working conditions has been a continual one. He shows how workers resisted conditions through sabotage and how new immigrants dealt with daily life in company housing; he even reveals important information about conditions in strike camps.

Reviews

Shackel provides a compelling account of how an archaeology of working-class life can correct and enrich historical knowledge and improve public understanding of the American industrial experience." – Dean J. Saitta, University of Denver

"A thorough, well-written overview of the issues confronting an archaeology of labor and the contributions historical archaeologists have made in addressing those issues. I would strongly recommend this book for anyone teaching historical archaeology or labor history at the university level." – Stephen A. Mrozowski, University of Massachusetts
Illustrations 20 b&w illustrations, bibliography
Pages 160
Date Published 30 Sep 2011
Publisher University Press of Florida
Series The American Experience in Archaeological Perspective
Subject/s History of the Americas   Industrial relations  
Paul A. Shackel is professor of anthropology and director of the Center for Heritage Resource Studies at the University of Maryland. He is the author or editor of numerous books, including Myth, Memory, and the Making of the American Landscape.

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