The Labor Wars

Lens, Sidney
Publisher:  Anchor Books, New York, USA
Year Published:  1974   First Published:  1973
Pages:  428pp   ISBN:  0-385-00500-8
Resource Type:  Book
Cx Number:  CX7488

A survey of landmark events in the U.S. labour movement.

Abstract:  Describes landmark events in the rise of the American labour movement, battles that were fought against police forces, government and the legal system. Among these is the 1930s sitdown strike against General Motors that resulted in victory for the workers. Often these events were violent as with the execution of the "Molly Maguires" in the Pennsylvania coal field during the 18th century. Some even erupted in open warfare such as with the violent confrontation of the Homestead strike of 1892. Also describes factions and disagreements within the American labour movement as well as some of its major figures such as Eugene Debs, Samuel Gompers, William Z. Foster , Bill Haywood , John L. Lewis , and Walter Reuther.

Lens is also concerned with the future of the labour movement and values a time when protest movements had a connection with those of the past. A time when they traced their ideas back to figures such as Marx, Lenin, Tom Paine and Bill Haywood and their traditions back to the Paris Commune and the Russian revolutions of 1905 and 1917.

[Abstract by Laila Mushawar]

Table of Contents

1. A Tale of Six Decades
2. The Molly Maguires
3. Two Weeks of Insurrection
4. The Bomb at Haymarket
5. Naval War at Homestead
6. The Debs Revolution
7. War in the Rockies
8. Halfway House
9. The Wobblies
10. Bread and Roses
11. First Round in Mass Production
12. The Lean Years
13. Impending Victory
14. Clearing the Cobwebs
15. Sitdown! Sitdown!
16. The Ides of Yesterday and Tomorrow


Subject Headings