Recommended working-class writing?
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Janet Zandy and Nicholas Coles just published a new anthology last year titled American Working-Class Literature. I saw Nicholas Coles speak at the Working Class Studies conference. If you log on to Oxford Literature site, you may be able to get an exam copy!
I like memoirs, too, especially Rivethead by Ben Hamper and Made in Detroit by Paul Clemens.
Now that classes have started back my reading will be chosen for me for a few months.
Devil in a Blue Dress is filled with working people I feel I grew up with even though I am a white guy from rural Ohio.
I am what is referred to as "non-traditional student", an old guy back in collage after 30 years. Next year I will be a senior and I am considering doing my senior capstone on labor history. Any recommendations would be appreciated.
EDITED FOR SPELLING
Right now I just want to do some reading and find out what really looks interesting. There was a strike at the mill my grandfather worked at, Newport Rolling Mill, in 1921 where the Kentucky Guard deployed tanks in the city. I might try to work out doing a paper on that.
I read Mike Rose's The Mind at Work over spring break. I was impressed enough to write a review.
David Montgomery's Fall of the House of Labor is on my want list. Your library looks great. There is a lot there I would like to read
Everybody had great recommendations. I can't wait for summer and a lighter class load so I can find time for some more of these.
"The real purpose of my writing is not to get my views as an individual published, but rather to try to help encourage working people to speak for ourselves and to write about our direct workplace experiences. I believe strongly that this is a very important part in worker self-organization. Too often workers are talked down to as if we are just sheep to be led and that our only role is to be followers. I believe workers do understand our class situation and we understand industry and how to change it better than any would be leaders and that real workers’ self-organization, that we control, is the only means to reach worker self-management. And to do that workers must speak for ourselves. Me, I am nothing more than a rebel Wobbly shipyard worker. " (Arthur J. Miller)
Some of my favorite working-class fiction:
Out of This Furnace by Thomas Bell
Go Tell It on the Mountain by James Baldwin
On the Line by Harvey Swados - a collection of short stories set in an auto plant.
Germinal by Zola
Jewish Pioneers of the Black Hills Gold Rush (Images of America Series) (Images of America (Arcadia Publishing)) by Ann Haber Stanton (Apr 25, 2011)
"In This Slavery Ethel wrote from her own experience of the factory system and the specific viewpoint (although not the only one) of the lives of women. Set before the First World War it’s the story of a family of women cotton workers (the Martins) and it is through their story, and the effects of poverty and unemployment that Ethel educates the reader in the historical traditions of why there was a vibrant labour movement during this period. It is not a story of victims but of real people: women and men who took militant action against the factory system."