Defining Documents in American History: Workers’ Rights

Salem. (Defining Documents in American History). Oct. 2023. 400p. ed. by Aaron Gulyas. ISBN 9781637004081. $295. REF
Gulyas (history, Mott Community Coll.) has compiled 60 primary documents on the history of workers’ rights and organized labor in the United States from the early 1800s through the dawn of the 21st century. The collection’s five sections are organized chronologically: Early Republic through the Populist Era; the Progressive Era; the end of World War I to the beginning of the New Deal; the New Deal and the Second World War; and post–World War II. Documents either detail the poor working conditions under which adults and children labored or review legislation and court decisions that attempted to alleviate those conditions. Each document is accompanied by a summary and “defining moment,” author information, a glossary, analysis, essential themes, a bibliography, and reading suggestions. Gulyas and 17 contributors coherently provide meaningful analysis of the documents and discerningly explore broader theoretical and intellectual themes and trends. The collection features an assortment of manifestos, memoirs, newspaper articles, pamphlets, political tracts, and speeches. It concludes with a chronological list of documents, applicable websites, and a bibliography.
VERDICT A distinctive collection of important primary papers with supporting text that provides historical context, relevance, and significance of those sources. Great for student reports.
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