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  • Working detroit: the making of a union town

    Babson recounts Detroit's odyssey from a bulwark of the "open shop" to the nation's foremost "union town." Through words and pictures, Working Detroit documents the events in the city's ongoing struggle to build an industrial society that is both prosperous and humane.

    Babson begins his account in 1848 when Detroit has just entered the industrial era. He weaves the broader historical realties, such as Red Scare, World War, and economic depression into his account, tracing the ebb and flow …

  • All-American anarchist: Joseph A. Labadie and the labor movement

    All-American Anarchist chronicles the life and work of Joseph A. Labadie (1850-1933), Detroit's prominent labor organizer and one of early labor's most influential activists. A dynamic participant in the major social reform movements of the Gilded Age, Labadie was a central figure in the pervasive struggle for a new social order as the American Midwest underwent rapid industrialization at the end of the nineteenth century.

    This engaging biography follows Labadie's colorful career from …

  • The troubled origins of the Italian Catholic labor movement, 1878–1914

    In his book, Sándor Agócs explores the conflicts that accompanied the emergence of the Italian Catholic labor movement. He examines the ideologies that were at work and details the organizational forms they inspired.

    During the formative years of the Italian labor movement, Neo-Thomism became the official ideology of the church. Church leadership drew upon the central Thomistic principal of caritas, Christian love, in its response to the social climate in Italy, which had become increa…

  • Maurice Sugar: law, labor, and the left in Detroit, 1912-1950

    It was Maurice Sugar, labor activist and lawyer for the United Auto Workers, who played a key role in guiding the newly-formed union through the treacherous legal terrain obstructing its development in the 1930s. He orchestrated the injunction hearings on the Dodge Main strike and defended the legality of the sit-down tactic. As the UAW's General Council, he wrote the union's constitution in 1939, a model of democratic thinking. Sugar worked with George Addes, UAW Secretary-Treasurer, to nurture…