Story Bibliography
Labor's Struggle to Organize Bibliography
Further Reading

Arky, Louis H. "The Mechanics' Union of Trade Associations and the Formation of the Philadelphia Workingmen's Movement." Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography 76 (April), 1952.

The best study of organizing events in the 1830s in Philadelphia.

Aurand, Harold. From the Molly Maguires to the United Mine Workers: The Social Ecology of an Industrial Union, 1869-1897. Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press, 1971.

An important academic work about the beginnings and development of unionism in the anthracite region.

Aurand, Harold, ed. "Special Issue: "The Lattimer Massacre, 1897,"" in Pennsylvania History. Edited by Harold AurandWinter 2002.

This issue contains important new articles examining the Lattimer Massacre.

Beik, Mildred Allen. The Miners of Windber: The Struggles of New Immigrants for Unionization, 1890's-1930's. . University Park, PA: The Pennsylvania State University Press, 1996.

This detailed history of Windber and its workers and residents focuses on the different immigrant groups in Windber and their struggles for better pay, working conditions, and authority in this company town.

Bezis-Selfia, John. Forging America: Ironworkers, Adventurers, and the Industrial Revolution. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2004.

Examines the social and labor history of the national industry during the 1700s and early 1800s, with a focus on the importance of slave labor.

Blatz, Perry. Democratic Miners: Work and Labor Relations in the Anthracite Coal Industry, 1875-1925. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 1994.

This carefully researched study gives in-depth descriptions of UMWA organization efforts, worker demands and processes of coal mining.

Bodnar, John. Anthracite People: Families, Unions and Work, 1900-1940. Harrisburg, PA: Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, 1983.

A slim but captivating book containing oral histories from members of anthracite mining families.

Bodnar, John. Steelton: Immigration and Industrialization, 1870-1940. Pittsburgh: Pittsburgh University Press, 1990.

Social history tracing impact of immigration and industrialization on Steelton's many diverse ethnic groups.

Brody, David. Steelworkers in America: The Nonunion Era. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1960.

This classic account of steelworkers analyzes the obstacles they faced in forming unions in 19th century.

Brophy, John. A Miner's Life: An Autobiography.. Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Press, 1964.

Brophy’s autobiography, details his work in the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA). Also includes his work in coal mines as a boy and young man, and gives his perspective on his conflict with John L. Lewis, the long-time president of the UMWA.

Clement, Priscilla F. "The Works Progress Administration in Pennsylvania: 1935-1940. ." Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography 95:2 ((1971)): 244-260.

A short, but comprehensive introduction to the history of the WPA in Pennsylvania.

Commons, John R. "Labor Organization and Labor Politics, 1827-37" in The Quarterly Journal of Economics., 323-329.(February 1907).

A classic article about the first important years of labor organizing in Philadelphia, with special emphasis on the unskilled textile workers in mills around the city.

Commons, John R., ed. A Documentary History of American Industrial Society. Edited by John R. Commons Cleveland: The Arthur H. Clark Co., 1910.

This wonderful collection of documents about labor organizing across many generations of American life is available online at Google Books.

Coode, Thomas H. and John F. Bauman. In the Eye of the Great Depression: New Deal Reporters and the Agony of the American People. DeKalb, IL: Northern Illinois University Press, 1988.

A history of the Great Depression through the eyes of reporters sent out to document it. It includes stories about people ranging from corporate heads and politicians to children living in Hoovervilles.

Cornell, Robert. The Anthracite Coal Strike of 1902. Washington, DC: Catholic University of America, 1957.

A major work on the causes and consequences of the 1902 anthracite coal strike.

Crawford, Margaret. Building the Workman's Paradise: The Design of American Company Towns. London: Verso, 1995.

Important analysis of company towns throughout America, including Pennsylvania's late nineteenth-century examples, written by a renowned urban planner.

Davin, Eric Lief. "Blue Collar Democracy: Class War and Political Revolution in Western Pennsylvania, 1932-1937." Pennsylvania History 67:2 (Spring 2000): 240-297.

Davin's useful overview describes the political revolution that swept through the steel towns of the Mon Valley south of Pittsburgh during the 1930s.

Demarest, David, Jr., ed. "The River Ran Red": Homestead 1892. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1992.

In addition to providing a full-length portrait of this watershed strike, Demarest includes documents and illustrations that give life to the triumphs and tragedies of this key event in labor organizing.

Dinteman, Walter. Anthracite Ghosts. Scranton, PA: University of Scranton Press, 1995.

A lavishly illustrated study of dying coal towns in Pennsylvania compiled during the 1970s.

Dublin, Thomas and Walter Licht. The Face of Decline: The Pennsylvania Anthracite Region in the Twentieth Century. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2005.

Places the history of Pennsylvania's anthracite coal region in a broad historical context.

Dublin, Thomas. When the Mines Closed: Stories of Struggles in Hard Times. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1998.

Readers can hear the voices of many who retell their experiences during deindustrialization of the anthracite region. Complementing the narratives are powerful photographs taken by George Harvan.

Dubofsky, Melvyn. We Shall be All: A History of the Industrial Workers of the World. Chicago: Quadrangle, 1969.

Older but still essential source on labor radicalism.

D’Antonio, Michael. Milton S. Hershey's Extraordinary Life of Wealth, Empire, and Utopian Dreams. New York: Simon and Schuster, 2006.

This first full biography of the town and its founder includes extensive insights into the labor life of this company town.

Eggert, Gerald G. The Iron Industry in Pennsylvania: With a Listing of National, State, and Private Sites Related to the Pennsylvania Iron Industry and Open to the Public. Harrisburg: Pennsylvania Historical Association, 1994.

This excellent overview of the Pennsylvania iron industry from its inception until the Great Depression includes social, economic, and labor aspects of the industry's history in a very readable few pages.

Ewa Morawska, For Bread with Butter: The Life-Worlds of East Central Eruopeans in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, 1890-1940 (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1985).

Detailed social history of Johnstown's immigrant communities.

Fitch, John A. The Steel Workers. Pittsburgh, PA: Russell Sage, University of Pittsburgh, 1910.

Indispensible contemporary account of labor conditions in Pittsburgh steel; part of the famous Pittsburgh Survey.

Foner, Philip S. The Fur and Leather Workers Union: A Story of Dramatic Struggles and Achievements . Newark: Nordan Press, 1950.

History of labor in the tanning industry.

Fricke, Ernest V. "Cooperation Conquers: The Response of Allentown's Entrepreneurial Community to the Great Depression of the 1930s" in Proceeding of the Lehigh County Historical Society., 112-128.(1978).

An analysis of company responses to the crisis of the Great Depression and workers' hardships in major industries.

Gorn, Elliott. The Most Dangerous Woman in America. New York: Hill & Wang, 2001.

In this well-researched biography, Gorn attempts to find the woman behind the public persona.

Green, James. "Steel Workers Organize in Aliquippa, Pennsylvania, 1933-1937." Labor's Heritage 5 (Summer 1993): 7-18.

A case study of this significant steel struggle.

Grossman, Jonathan P. William Sylvis, Pioneer of American Labor: A Study of the Labor Movement during the Era of the Civil War. New York: Columbia University Press, 1945.

An older work, but still one of the best studies of the Civil War years for labor.

Harris, Howard, and Blatz, Perry, eds. Keystone of Democracy: A History of Pennsylvania Workers. Harrisburg, PA: Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, 1999.

A useful collection of brief vignettes on labor history, this volume offers an easy-to-use starting reference for any study of Pennsylvania workers.

Henderson, Ray and Tony Buba. Struggles in Steel: A Story of African-American Steel Workers. Braddock Films, 1996.

This award-winning film documentary, co-directed by a former Duquesne worker, documents the contributions of African-Americans to the steel industry, the labor movement, and the civil rights movement.

Hendrickson, Kenneth. "The Socialists of Reading, Pennsylvania, and World War I: A Question of Loyalty." Pennsylvania History 36 ((1969)): 430-50.

A rare look at Pennsylvania's most important Socialist leaders and their persecution during the war.

Hoerr, John P. And the Wolf Finally Came: The Decline of the American Steel Industry. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1988.

Detailed reporting on labor politics in the postwar period with a good eye for the long-term consequences of labor-management agreements.

Hovanec, Evelyn A. Common Lives of Uncommon Strength: The Women of the Coal and Coke Era of Southwestern Pennsylvania 1880-1970. Uniontown, PA: Patch/Work Voices Publishing, 2001.

A terrific resource on the thousands of women who lived in southwestern Pennsylvania as their husbands worked in the bituminous coal and coke industries there. The book includes stories about women's daily lives, their relationships, and their support systems during tragedy.

Hume, Brit. Death and the Mines: Rebellion and Murder in the UMW. New York, New York: Grossman Publishers, 1971.

A history of the events that led to the murder of labor leader Joseph A. "Jock" Yablonski and of the work and reform efforts of the UMWA.

Irwin M. Marcus, James P. Dougherty, and Eileen M. Cooper, "Confrontation at Rossiter: The Coal Strike of 1927-1928 and Its Aftermath," Pennsylvania History 59:4 (October 1992): 310-26.

One of the rare labor case studies of the 1920s.

Jenkins, Philip. The Cold War at Home: The Red Scare in Pennsylvania. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1999.

A fascinating history of the impact of anti-Communist activism on politics, schools and ethnic organizations, and the labor movement in Pennsylvania.

Kennedy, Donald, Paul F. Clark, and Petter Gottlieb, eds. Forging a Union of Steel: Philip Murray, SWOC, and the United Steelworkers. Ithaca: ILR Press, 1987.

A collection of essays focusing on national labor leader Philip Murray and SWOC.

Kenny, Kevin. Making Sense of the Molly Maguires. New York: Oxford University Press, 1998.

Were they terrorists, innocent victims or revolutionaries? Kevin Kenny sheds new light on the mysterious Mollys of the 1860s and 1870s.

Kozura, Michael. "We Stood Our Ground: Anthracite Miners and the Expropriation of Corporate Property, 1930-41." in We Are All Leaders: The Alternative Unionism of the Early 1930s. Edited by Staughton Lynd, 199-237. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, (1996).

This well-researched article uses oral history interviews to explore "bootleg" mining from the perspective of the unemployed miners who resorted to illegal mining for economic survival.

Krause, Paul. The Battle For Homestead, 1880-1892: Politics, Culture, and Steel. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1992.

This study is full of valuable vignettes about one of Pennsylvania's most violent episodes of labor organizing.

LaMar, Elden. The Clothing Workers in Philadelphia: History of Their Struggles for Union and Security, 1929-1939. Philadelphia: The Philadelphia Joint Board Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America, 1940.

A history of the struggles of Philadelphia's large and diverse population of textile workers for union representation.

Licht, Walter. Working for the Railroad: The Organization of Work in the Nineteenth Century. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1983.

An important study that explains how railroads organized their workers in new ways that posed unique problems for organizing workers into unions.

Long, Priscilla. Where the Sun Never Shines: A History of America's Bloody Coal Industry. New York, New York: Paragon House, 1989.

This history of the national coal mining industry up to World War I gives special attention to bituminous coal mining in Pennsylvania.

Maurer, James. It Can Be Done: The Autobiography of James Hudson Maurer . New York: Rand School, 1938.

A highly readable and entertaining autobiography of cantankerous Socialist state legislator and labor leader James Maurer of Reading, Pennsylvania.

Meyerhuber, Carl I., Jr. Less Than Forever: The Rise and Decline of Union Solidarity in Western Pennsylvania, 1914-1948 . Selinsgrove, PA: Susquehanna University Press, 1987.

This study of the efforts of labor unions to organize workers, institute strikes, and bring about reform for coal miners in western Pennsylvania emphasizes the strikes between 1925 to 1928 and reform efforts of the UMWA during the 1920s and early 1930s.

Miller, Donald L. and Richard E. Sharpless. The Kingdom of Coal: Work Enterprise and Ethnic Communities in the Mine Fields. Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1985.

Well written and carefully researched, this monograph is one of the best published studies on the Pennsylvania anthracite industry.

Miner, Curtis. Forging a New Deal: Johnstown and the Great Depression. Johnstown, Pa: Johnstown Area Heritage Association, 1993.

This exhibition catalog looks at the impact of the Great Depression on this single industry town and the ways in which the New Deal transformed politics and society there, culminating in the violent 1937 Little Steel strike at the city's sprawling Bethlehem Steel plant.

Mulrooney, Margaret. A Legacy of Coal: The Coal Company Towns of Southwestern Pennsylvania.. Washington, D.C.: National Park Service/US Department of the Interior, 1989.

A social and architectural survey of bituminous coal mining towns based on historical sources, oral histories and HABS/HAER field reports, amply illustrated with maps and architectural plans. Includes in-depth case studies for three notable southwestern Pennsylvania coal patches (Windber, Star Junction and Colver).

Nicole Wolensky and Robert Wolensky, Kenneth Wolensky. Fighting for the Union Label: The Women's Garment Industry and the ILGWU in Pennsylvania. University Park, PA: Penn State Press, 2002.

A history of women’s garment industry union that makes good use of oral histories.

Novak, Michael. The Guns of Lattimer. New York: Basic Books, 1978.

A great narrative of a tragic episode in the history of labor relations and immigration.

Palladino, Grace. Dreams of Dignity - Workers of Vision: A History of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. Pittsburgh, PA: International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, 1991.

The best work on this important twentieth-century union and its struggle to organize.

Pope, James Gray. "The Western Pennsylvania Coal Strike of 1933, Part II: Lawmaking from Above and the Demise of Democracy in the United Mine Workers.." Labor History 44:2 ((2003)): 235-264.

A brief but detailed history of the infamous bituminous 1933 coal strike.

Powderly, Terence. The Path I Trod: The Autobiography of Terence Powderly. New York: Columbia University Press, 1940.

Scranton mayor and Knights of Labor president Terence Powderly's rambling but fascinating autobiography.

Rees, Jonathan. Managing the Mills: Labor Policy in the American Steel Industry During the Nonunion Era. Dallas: University Press of America,, 2004.

This valuable study examines such issues as twelve-hour day, welfare capitalism, and workplace spying.

Roadhouse, Marion. Women of Industry and Reform, 1865-1940. University Park: Pennsylvania Historical Association, 2007.

One of the best studies of women workers, with important insights into labor organizing after the Civil War.

Roberts, Ellis W. The Breaker Whistle Blows: Mining Disasters and Labor Leaders in the Anthracite Region. Scranton, PA: Anthracite Museum Press, 1984.

A popular history of anthracite coal mining in northeastern Pennsylvania.

Rose, James D. Duquesne and the Rise of Steel Unionism. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2003.

This well researched study includes an extended discussion of Duquesne's response to the Great Depression and its transformation from a company town into a pro-New Deal "union town" by the end of the 1930s.

Ryan, Francis. AFSCME's Philadelphia Story: Municipal Workers and Urban Power in Twentieth Century Philadelphia. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2010.

Excellent history of Philadelphia's municipal workers and their organizing efforts in the 20th century with numerous photographs.

Salay, David L., ed.. Hard Coal, Hard Times: Ethnicity and Labor in the Anthracite Region. Scranton, PA: Anthracite Museum Press, 1984.

These articles about the experiences of immigrants, labor, and business in the anthracite coal fields were drawn from papers delivered at a 1982 symposium at Scranton's Anthracite Heritage Museum.

Schatz, Ronald W. The Electrical Workers, A History of Labor at General Electric and Westinghouse: 1923-60. Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1983..

A valuable complement to studies of the electrical workers' unionizing efforts, from both the company and workers' points of view.

Schultz, Ronald. The Politics of Class: Philadelphia Artisans and the Republic of Labor, 1720-1830. New York: Oxford University Press, 1993.

Explains how the artisan classes mobilized for the American Revolution and redefined the economic landscape of the New Republic.

Scranton, Philip. Proprietary Capitalism: The Textile Manufacture at Philadelphia, 1800-1885. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1983.

An important study of women and men in the textile factories in and around Philadelphia in the first years after the American Revolution. This book provides valuable insights into the transformation of shop workers into factory workers, women’s entry into factory production, and the growing scale of manufacturing.

Smith, Billy G. The "Lower Sort": Philadelphia's Laboring People, 1750-1800. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1990.

Details growing urban inequality in an era of rising per capita wealth, and shows the precariousness of the lives of working people in the decades surrounding the American Revolution.

Stepenoff, Bonnie. Their Fathers' Daughters: Silk Mill Workers in Northeastern Pennsylvania, 1880-1960. Selingsgrove: Susquehanna University Press, 1999.

A history of the silk industry and its women workers in northeastern Pennsylvania.

Sterba, Christopher M. "Family, Work, and Nation: Hazleton, Pennsylvania, and the 1934 General Strike in Textiles.." Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography Vol. 120:No. 1/2 ((January/April 1996)): 3-35.

A woman's perspective on the general textile strikes of the mid-1930s.

Trachtenberg, Alexander. The History of Legislation for the Protection of Coal Miners in Pennsylvania, 1824-1915. New York: International Publishers, 1942.

An early study that laid the groundwork for understanding the long sweep of struggles to get political legislation and governmental protection for coal mining communities.

Walker, Joseph E. Hopewell Village: A Social and Economic History of an Iron-Making Community. Philadelphia, Pa: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1966.

An outstanding history of this iron plantation, with excellent detail on the lives of ironmasters, workers, and their families

Warren, Kenneth. Wealth, Waste, and Alienation: Growth and Decline in the Connellsville Coke Industry. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2001.

An outstanding, detailed history of the coke industry in southwestern Pennsylvania that focuses on the business, technological, and labor history.

William Serrin, Homestead: The Glory and Tragedy of an American Steel Town (New York: Vintage, 1992).

An outstanding book on the history of the steel industry in the 20th century. Serrin combines a reporter's eye for a story with the historian's attention to detail in writing an extended case study of Homestead, Pennsylvania.

Web Guide

"A History of the Ironworkers Union, "

Comprehensive and detailed history of an important national union, founded in Pittsburgh in the late 1800s.

"Miner's Son, Miner's Photographer: The Life and Work of George Harvan, " Journal for Multimedia History

Multimedia history of the life and work of Pennsylvania photographer George Harvan, including his captivating photographs of mine workers and collieries in the late 20th century.

"Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania Labor Legacy, " University of Pittsburgh Labor Archive

An excellent source on western Pennsylvania labor history, the website includes essays, documents, databases, and more.

"The Avondale Mine Disaster, " Harpers Weekly, September 6, 1869.

A fascinating, contemporary account of one of the most important mine accidents in Pennsylvania history.

"The Old Country in the New World, " American Philosophical Society

This interactive, on-line exhibit describes life in anthracite patch towns experienced by immigrant families and contains many historical photographs.

The Autobiography of Mother Jones

E-text of The Autobiography of Mother Jones, one of the nation's great labor activists.

Excerpts from the Pittsburgh Survey, ehistory, Ohio State University

Excerpts from three volumes of the pioneering Pittsburgh Survey (1909), including many excellent contemporary photographs.

Susan Ferrandiz, "McIntyre, Pennsylvania, The Everyday Life Of A Coal Mining Company Town: 1910-1947"

This wonderfully organized array of primary resources on the life of the bituminous coal mining town of McIntyre, includes memories of mining; photographs of tools, coal buildings, pay stubs, and other artifacts; and a rich bibliography and weblinks.

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