• History from the Bottom Up and the Inside Out: Ethnicity, Race, and Identity in Working-Class History

    Contributor(s): David Roediger
    Pages: 304
    Sales/Territorial Rights: World
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  • Foreword / David R. Roediger  ix
    Acknowledgments  xvii
    Introduction. The Subjective Side of Working-Class History  1
    1. The Blessed Virgin Made Me a Socialist Historian: An Experiment in Catholic Autobiography and the Historical Understanding of Race and Class  7
    2. Was the Personal Political? Reading the Autobiography of American Communism  33
    3. Revolution and Personal Crisis: William Z. Foster, Personal Narrative, and the Subjective in the History of American Communism  58
    4. Blue-Collar Cosmopolitans: Toward a History of Working-Class Sophistication in Industrial America  77
    5. The Bohemian Writer and the Radical Woodworker: A Study in Class Relations  102
    6. Americanization from the Botton Up: Immigration and the Remaking of the Working Class in the United States, 1880–1930  122
    7. Inbetween Peoples: Race, Nationality, and the "New Immigrant" Working Class / James R. Barrett and David R. Roediger  145
    8. Irish Americanization on Stage: How Irish Musicians, Playwrights, and Writers Created a New Urban American Culture, 1880–1940  175
    9. Making and Unmaking the Working Class: E. P. Thompson, The Making of the English Working Class, and the "New Labor History" in the United States  192
    Notes  209
    Selected Bibliography  273
    Index  277
  • David Roediger

  • "I found this stirring collection of essays completely absorbing. James R. Barrett incisively weaves together the fabric of his own life experience with the trajectory of the new labor history in which he played a central part. From his astute discussion of faith in the lives of working people to his persuasive explorations of working-class culture and class, Barrett pushes us to consider the relevance of working-class history to contemporary politics." — Alice Kessler-Harris, author of, Gendering Labor History

    "These sparkling essays catch a mature and prodigious talent in an uncommonly contemplative mood. James R. Barrett ranges across the field's core themes of class, race, and ethnicity (including an original take on the whole Thompsonian paradigm), then uses his own personal intellectual and political coming of age as an opening to new inquiries about work and individual identity." — Leon Fink, author of, The Long Gilded Age: American Capitalism and the Lessons of a New World Order

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  • Description

    In History from the Bottom Up and the Inside Out James R. Barrett rethinks the boundaries of American social and labor history by investigating the ways in which working-class, radical, and immigrant people's personal lives intersected with their activism and religious, racial, ethnic, and class identities. Concerned with carving out space for individuals in the story of the working class, Barrett examines all aspects of individuals' subjective experiences, from their personalities, relationships, and emotions to their health and intellectual pursuits. Barrett's subjects include American communists, "blue-collar cosmopolitans"—such as well-read and well-traveled porters, sailors, and hoboes—and figures in early twentieth-century anarchist subculture. He also details the process of the Americanization of immigrant workers via popular culture and their development of class and racial identities, asking how immigrants learned to think of themselves as white. Throughout, Barrett enriches our understanding of working people’s lives, making it harder to objectify them as nameless cogs operating within social and political movements. In so doing, he works to redefine conceptions of work, migration, and radical politics.

    About The Author(s)

    James R. Barrett is Professor Emeritus of History at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the author and editor of several books, most recently, The Irish Way: Becoming American in the Multiethnic City.

    David Roediger is Foundation Professor of American Studies at the University of Kansas and the author of Seizing Freedom: Slave Emancipation and Liberty for All.
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