Grand Master Workman: Terence Powderly and the Knights of Labor (Contributions in Labor Studies) 0th Edition

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ISBN-13: 978-0313309489
ISBN-10: 0313309485
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Hardcover, January 30, 2000
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Editorial Reviews


?Christians and Chiefs in Zimbabwe is an exceptional book. It is both methodologically innovative and lucidly written....David Maxwell has produced an important addition to the growing collection of works on the history of Zimbabwe. Beyond that, academics and both graduate and undergraduate students interested in the history of religion and the history of politics, particularly at the local level, will find this work an insightful contribution to their fields of inquiry.?-Internantional Journal of African History Studies

About the Author

CRAIG PHELAN is Lecturer in American Studies at the University of Wales, Swansea. His other works include "Divided Loyalties: the Public and Private Life of Labor Leader John Mitchell" (1994) and "William Green: Biography of a Labor Leader" (1989).

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Product Details

  • Series: Contributions in Labor Studies (Book 55)
  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Praeger (January 30, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0313309485
  • ISBN-13: 978-0313309489
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,175,582 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By William J. Shepherd on March 21, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Phelan's biography of Terence V. Powderly, along with his previous works on William Green and John Mitchell, places him in the premiere rank of labor biographers. His task in GRAND MASTER WORKMAN is to present a revised and much more favorable view of Powderly and his fourteen year (1879-1893) tenure as head of the Knights of Labor. Phelan targets the generations of American labor historians, particularly Norman Ware and Philip S. Foner, who dismissed Powderly and the Knights as a last gap of the utopian traditions of the antebellum years which were unsuited to the economic realities of the Gilded Age. This argument was specifically the case in regard to the rise of the rival and ultimately successful American Federation of Labor (AFL) with its more apolitical craft unionism. Powderly himself was charged with, among other things, being sensitive, vain, naive, and arrogant. Recent studies of the Knights, especially on the local level, have transformed the view of the Knights into that of an authentic working-class organization with a convincing critique of industrial capitalism. Unfortunately, the view of Powderly had not been transformed, until now. Phelan's Powderly is not a pusillanimous utopian but a worthy if somewhat flawed hero who articulated the collective progressive vision of the working masses in the face of the oppression and inhumanity of the industrial capitalist system and its leaders which eventually crushed the Knights. Phelan uses the voluminous archival papers of Powderly, on deposit at The Catholic University of America and available on microfilm, to present Powderly in his own words.Read more ›
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Grand Master Workman: Terence Powderly and the Knights of Labor (Contributions in Labor Studies)
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