"Not only a fine collection on Florida itself, but also a model of what edited state histories of labor might look like in the future. It is as multiracial (also moving well beyond black and white) and almost as gendered as the experiences of workers themselves. It refuses to separate the histories of slavery and of free labor. Finally it is at times impressively interdisciplinary without any lapses into disciplinary jargon."--David R. Roediger, University of Illinois
Florida provides a unique opportunity to explore the history of working men and women within a constantly changing environment. Stretching from the Spanish colonial period through the recent organizing efforts of service and agricultural workers, this collection showcases a broad spectrum of working experiences in a region that has been sorely neglected in many labor histories.
The essays in Florida's Working-Class Past pay special attention to gender, race, ethnicity, migration, and social networks. Under the guidance of editors Robert Cassanello and Melanie Shell-Weiss, the contributors offer fresh analyses of labor activism, re-contextualize Indian tribute and slavery within the context of labor history, and examine major themes in labor and working-class history in one place over several centuries.
Robert Cassanello, assistant professor of history at the University of Central Florida, is coeditor of Migration and the Transformation of the Southern Workplace since 1945. Melanie Shell-Weiss is visiting assistant professor of history at Johns Hopkins University and author of Coming to Miami: A Social History.
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"A seminal contribution recommended for university library American History reference collections in general, and Floridian History Studies reading lists in particular."
--The Midwest Book Review
"Has something relevant to say to virtually anybody who studies or cares about the experiences of Floridian or American workers, past or present."
--The Florida Historical Quarterly
"These essays offer not only an excellent overview of the current literature, but an introduction to new directions in the field of labor history. As the inaugural volume of the University Press of Florida's series on working in the Americas, Florida's Working-Class Past has established a high standard for future scholarship."
--Tampa Bay History
"A particular strength of the book, missing in many historical works that focus on a particular state, is that almost all essays place their subjects in a broader context across the boundaries of state, nation, race, and gender."
"Offers a more complex portrait of southern labor, nuanced by a careful consideration of class, ethnicity, and race."
"Does an impressive job in covering topixcs unique to Florida."
"Reminds us that Florida, in its own distinct way, was part of the south."
--Journal of Southern History