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Good, Reliable, White Men: Railroad Brotherhoods, 1877-1917 (Working Class in American History)
Item Dimensions: Array
Label: University of Illinois Press
Manufacturer: University of Illinois Press
Number Of Items: 1
Number Of Pages: 296
Publication Date: 2009-10-27
Publisher: University of Illinois Press
Studio: University of Illinois Press
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.