"Zieger has done it again! In this volume, he has put his finger on the pulse of the most exciting current work in the field. Anyone who doubts that the South is still a distinctive region, or who thinks that 'southern labor' has become an oxymoron, will be chastened by the scholarship in this compelling collection."--Alex Lichtenstein, Florida International University
This collection of essays explores the dynamic new face of Southern labor since 1950. Life and Labor in the New New South weaves together the best work of established scholars with emerging cutting-edge research on ethnicity, gender, prison labor, de-industrialization, rapidly changing demographic and employment patterns, and popular response to globalization.
Contributors include Jane Berger, Michael Bess, Robert Bussel, Robert Chase, David Ciscel, Michael Dennis, Tami Friedman, Michael Honey, Max Krochmal, Timothy Minchin, Bruce Nissen, and Michael Pierce. The essays examine such topics as southern deindustrialization, union activism in the healthcare industry, labor-community coalitions, the politics of southern anti-unionism, and immigrant labor in southern agriculture.
One chapter uses a dual biography of two postwar Mexican-American activists in Texas to reconstruct the Chicano-Black coalitions in 1960s Dallas and San Antonio. The volume as a whole creates a distinguished profile of a southern workforce that has been dramatically transformed since 1950, with the pace of change accelerating over the past two decades.
Robert Zieger is Distinguished Professor of History Emeritus at the University of Florida and author of For Jobs and Freedom: Race and Labor in America since 1865.
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"Shows how labor relations in the south have come to resemble those in the North and elsewhere."
"The essays assembled in Zieger’s collection effectively trace the multiple changes that have marked the region’s economy and labor force. Together they also demonstrate the expansiveness of the field of southern labor history and the sophistication of many of its practitioners."
--The Journal of American History
"Draws on the talents of both established and emerging scholars...the essays represent some of the most exciting trends in the recent historiography of southern labor...required reading for anyone who hopes to understand the recent history of the southern working class and its larger impact on American society."
--The Journal of Southern History
“This volume’s multifaceted approach offers an innovative interpretation of labor history and a useful methodology for future considerations of the role of class-politics and the significance of organized labor in the postwar period.”
These essays complicate and topple assumptions about the South’s labor force over the past half-century but also point to living history outside of the academy. Thus, not only should this volume change how scholars think about the South’s recent history, but it could also suggest a wider set of options for its citizens to use in struggles against economic and racial exploitation in our current century.
--Florida Historical Quarterly