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This book examines how a group of manufacturers of metal products in America's third largest city helped each other to meet the challenges of organized labor (and sometimes an interventionist state) in the half-century between the "second industrial revolution" and the Second World War. It analyzes labor issues by means of a careful local case study, but its conclusions about the interplay of labor, organized capital, law, and the state in determining the fate of workers' rights and employers' interests have broad relevance to the history and politics of twentieth-century industrial relations.Read more
- Long time period covered
- Combination of tight local focus and broader interpretations of US labour and business history
- Uniquely sympathetic focus on employer community
Reviews & endorsements
"This of us wedded to economic and institutional labor history have much to be grateful for in Howell John Harris's painstaking examination of the metal manufacturing labor market in Philadelphia during the period 1890 to 1940...Harris's work has been a pleasure to read, more or less. The book deserves to be mined thoroughly. Bloodless Victories is a significant achievement." EH.NetSee more reviews
"By examining the use and organization of labor over a period of noteworthy technological, economic, and political change, Harris (history, Univ. of Durham) provides an understanding and appreciaiton of a number of significant changes in an industry, in a region, and in the shifting balance of economic and political power. By investigating significant developments in the metal manufacturing industry, the author provides a more thorough understanding of changes in the US labor movement as well as the development of the Philadelphian economy and society. Most appropriate for graduate, research, and professional collections." Choice
"it is nevertheless clearly informed by the insights and perpective of recent labor history...I consider this the most useful contribution of Harris's book and recommend it as an approach for other business historians to emulate in order to present a complete picture of all the actors on the economic stage." Business History Review Summer 01
"This book meets the hightest standards of scholarship. It is based on shrewd analysis and an exhautive mining of sources, including the author's own databases on MMA firms and executives...readers interested in business, economic, labor, or urban history will find this book an authoritatively dependable- and in places brilliant-guide to the now-lost world of the Philadelphia metalworking industry and its employers." The Journal of American History
"...Harris' scrutiny of the unusually accessible and rich records of the association formed by Philadelphia foundry and machine shop owners in 1903 and which has survived in various guises until the present day, permits him to offer some extremely valuable insights into styles of industrial relations which prevailed in manufacturing cities around the country until the late 1930's." Journal of Social History
"In the academic division of labor. . . many bemoan [the] compartmentalization [of the field; however] the knowledge and time needed to complete larger, more complete histories can be intimidating. Fortunately, a few brave souls try to construct a picture of the development of industrial and labor relations in an entire history. Harris joins this elite group, helping to set a new standard for history." Journal of Interdisciplinary History
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- Date Published: June 2000
- format: Hardback
- isbn: 9780521584357
- length: 476 pages
- dimensions: 229 x 152 x 30 mm
- weight: 0.87kg
- contains: 22 b/w illus. 11 tables
- availability: Available
Table of Contents
Figures and tables
2. The iron masters
3. Laying the foundations: peace and war in the metal trades, c.1890–1904
4. Combat, crisis, and consolidation, 1904–15
5. 'The largest, strongest, and most valuable association of metal manufacturers in any city'
6. Riding the storm, 1915–18
7. The war after the war, 1918–23
8. Pacific passage: quaker employers and welfare capitalism, c.1905–24
9. A liberal interlude: the modernization of the MMA, c.1924–31
10. The deluge: the Great Depression and the end of the open shop
11. The New World: accommodation and adjustment, 1936–9
12. Afterword: 'We'll still be there. We're not going away'
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