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Book Cover for: Listening to Workers: Oral Histories of Metro Detroit Autoworkers in the 1950s, Daniel J. Clark

Listening to Workers: Oral Histories of Metro Detroit Autoworkers in the 1950s

Daniel J. Clark

Historians and readers alike often overlook the everyday experiences of workers. Drawing on years of interviews and archival research, Daniel J. Clark presents the rich, interesting, and sometimes confounding lives of men and women who worked in Detroit-area automotive plants in the 1950s.

In their own words, the interviewees frankly discuss personal matters like divorce and poverty alongside recollections of childhood and first jobs, marriage and working women, church and hobbies, and support systems and workplace dangers. Their frequent struggles with unstable jobs and economic insecurity upend notions of the 1950s as a golden age of prosperity while stories of domestic violence and infidelity open a door to intimate aspects of their lives. Taken together, the narratives offer seldom-seen accounts of autoworkers as complex and multidimensional human beings.

Compelling and surprising, Listening to Workers foregoes the union-focused strain of labor history to provide ground-level snapshots of a blue-collar world.

Book Details

  • Publisher: University of Illinois Press
  • Publish Date: Aug 20th, 2024
  • Pages: 240
  • Language: English
  • Dimensions: 0.00in - 0.00in - 0.00in - 1.00lb
  • EAN: 9780252088094
  • Categories: Labor & Industrial RelationsUnited States - State & Local - Midwest(IA,IL,IN,KS,MI,MN,MOIndustries - Automobile Industry

About the Author

Daniel J. Clark is a professor of history at Oakland University. He is the author of Disruption in Detroit: Autoworkers and the Elusive Postwar Boom.

Praise for this book

"This is a richly textured, collective portrait of people coming of age in the Great Depression and World War II, who worked in one the largest and most important industries in the US and belonged to a union that led the labor movement and set the standard for wages and benefits in many industries."--Lou Martin, author of Smokestacks in the Hills