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1877: Year of Violence Paperback – April 1, 1989

ISBN-13: 978-0929587059 ISBN-10: 0929587057

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Frequently Bought Together

1877: Year of Violence + Streets, Railroads, and the Great Strike of 1877 (Historical Studies of Urban America) + The Great Labor Uprising of 1877
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 341 pages
  • Publisher: Ivan R. Dee (April 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0929587057
  • ISBN-13: 978-0929587059
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 5.5 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,062,637 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


A taut narrative that is relieved by the flashes of an appropriately sardonic humor. (Eric F. Goldman The New York Times)

The author goes to the sources in scholarly fashion but reports it in a popular style.... informative and readable. (C. Vann Woodward)

About the Author

Robert V. Bruce is Professor of History at Boston University. He is also the author of Lincoln and the Tools of War and The Launching of Modern American Science, 1846–1876, for which he won the Pulitzer Price in 1988.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 26 people found the following review helpful By T. Graczewski VINE VOICE on January 31, 2002
Format: Paperback
Originally published in 1959, Robert Bruce's "1877: Year of Violence" is a classic of sorts. Personally, I was drawn to this book because of its focus on that watershed year. Most undergraduate courses use 1877 as the explicit demarcation point between early and modern American history. Yet, I never quite understood why a plurality of professional historians had concluded that 1877 was the decisive inflection point in the history of our nation and hoped this book would shed some light on that issue.
In the main, this book deals with the rise of big business (railroads, in particular) and the subsequent emergence of unionism and ultimately labor violence. That larger story is told through the specific events of the summer of 1877, when railroad workers reacted widely and violently - although not concertedly - to a wave of pay reductions by the major eastern trunk lines. In essence, the railroad executives had formed a quasi "union of capital," whereby each major trunk line agreed to lower wages by 15% one at a time throughout the summer and not to issue any rate wars in the interim while roads were putting down the inevitable strikes and walk-outs.
The most shocking aspect of Bruce's narrative is the level of violence committed on both sides and the extremely precarious state of the nation at that time, both economically and politically. President Rutherford B. Hayes had come to office at the beginning of the year in a widely disputed election where he had secured a one electoral point victory over his Democratic challenger, New York Governor Samuel Tilden, but lost the popular vote and was ultimately declared the winner by an extra-governmental committee (sound familiar?).
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Tad Richards on January 16, 2010
Format: Paperback
This book was out of print when I was writing my novel about 1877, and I was lucky to find it. It's now recognized as a classic of American history, and deservedly.
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0 of 5 people found the following review helpful By james gray on November 16, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am a graduate student in education and in history. I have not yet read this but know it is a well written history since I read many peer-reviewed information on this work. Hopefully, during my holiday break which occurs in a few weeks I will have time to read and review it. I know that most historical works that are rated highly by other historians usually meet my expectations. Some excel and very few disappoint.I recntly purchased a history of the Paris Commune and although it was written by a whether conservative historian, it was excellent. It read better than most novels which is what good histories do. I will update my viewpoint on this work within the next few weeks. Right now, I am working on a multicultural paper pertaining to eduction in the U.S.. Amazon, should ask me review music purchases since I play the music I get immediately after it arrives. This book arrived before I expected it which most everything I order from Amazon does. I am always pleased with Amazon's projecte delivery dates and with the description of products meeting packaging descriptions. In the future I would appreciate Amazon to elicit music reviews before book reviews. I listen to the music I order immediately and the books I take a bit more time to access fully.
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