From Library Journal
Bruno, an assistant professor in the Chicago Labor Education Program at the University of Illinois, blends personal memory, oral history, and archival research to document the social, economic, and political ties that bound Youngstown steelworkers to their fellow workers, families, communities, and class. Bruno argues that the postwar academic picture of "highly paid" manual laborers contentedly assuming middle-class values does not square with the workers' own perception of their lives. His steelworker father and friends defined themselves as working classAthey did hard physical labor, lived and socialized with other steelworkers in plant-gate neighborhoods, and had little in common with the middle-class foremen, plant managers, and owners. This book combines the immediacy of personal recollection with scholarly analysis to describe a working-class life that "unfolds on the plant floor, in the union hall, and throughout the neighborhood." Recommended for academic libraries with labor or oral history collections.ADuncan Stewart, State Historical Society of Iowa Lib., Iowa City
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
"For this well-written ethnography, Bruno interviewed 75 retirees, wives and other residents. . . Readers see everyday working-class life. . . Recommended for classes in stratification, social history, and work."—Choice
"This book combines the immediacy of personal recollection with scholarly analysis to describe working-class life."—Library Journal. July 1999.
". . . Bruno has provided a very compelling discussion of how class works in Youngstown. . . Steelworker Alley is an important contribution to new working-class studies. Not only is it worker-centered, but it attempts to deal with the contradictory expressions of class in America. The book should be of interest to labour historians and educators, social scientists, and cultural geographers."—John Russo, Youngstown State University. Left History, 7.2
"Steel worker Alley is a compassionate book based on extensive research chronicling the lives and identities of men who had been steelworkers. Bruno offers a significant contribution to the debate on class consciousness by examining how the similarity of their lives on the job, at home and in their neighborhoods created the basis for a shred sense of identity for steelworkers. . . .This analytical account. . . . raises troubling concerns regarding the options people have to provide for their families in a economic system so heavily weighed against them."—June Corman, Canadian Journal of Sociology, March 2000.
"In marvellously well written passages, Bruno is able to really evoke a feeling for the working and home lives of his interviewees. . . . He builds up a picture of life experience that is completely at odds with any notion of the disappearance of the working class."—Diane Fieldes. The Journal of Industrial Relations. December, 1999.
"Steelworker Alley suggests that the recent books on working-class illiberalism do not tell the whole story."—Judith Stein, Graduate School and City College of the City University of New York. Industrial and Labor Relations Review, July 2000
"This textured, moving, analytical account is both an elegy for a lost world and a guide to the creation of solidarity and collective action in the face of many barriers. Utilizing the advantages of access, Robert Bruno paints a multidimensional portrait of steelworkers at work and at home, capturing their experiences and perspectives and presenting the reader with a picture of class in America that transcends the usual stereotypes."—Ira I. Katznelson, Columbia University
"Steelworker Alley calls into question the idea that American workers have become middle-class. At least in places like Robert Bruno's hometown in Ohio, where workers live in neighborhoods adjacent to the place of work, a pervasive consciousness of class appears to have survived into the 1990s. Bruno's work will inspire other young working-class intellectuals to explore as participant observers how, in their own families and communities, 'class consciousness emerged as a way of life.'"—Staughton Lynd, author of Living Inside Our Hope: A Steadfast Radical's Thoughts on Rebuilding the Movement
--This text refers to the