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Farm and Factory: Workers in the Midwest 1880–1990 (Midwestern History and Culture) Hardcover – December 22, 1995
The Amazon Book Review
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"Nelson ... [is] one of the country's leading labor scholars... [His] work provides an invaluable ... guide to understanding a critical region ..." Ohio History "... I learned quite a lot from reading Farm and Factory, and this will certainly be the case for all who pick up this valuable and informative book." Minnesota History "... a valuable source for anyone concerned with regional and national tendencies in labor relations and economic change over the last century." American Political Science Review "... a useful and well written synthesis of labor history in the Midwest in the period between 1880 and 1990." Labor History "... Nelson's work is most impressive in both its scope and depth... a long-overdue study of the Midwest as a region distinct and important in the history of American labor." Northwest Ohio Quarterly "... a richly textured and much needed regional overview." Journal of the West "... a well written synthesis useful for classroom assignment in regional and social history. It is also a good starting point for a discussion of the future of the midwestern economy." Wisconsin Magazine of History " ... a work of superior scholarship [that] makes an original and important contribution to the field." Nancy Gabin "... useful source for the demographic and economic dynamics of the Midwest and a good starting point for entering the voluminous secondary literature on the nation's heartland." The Journal of American History "... it provides an insightful, wide-ranging look at work and workers in the Midwest. It will certainly be a basic resource on regional history for years to come, as well as a book that adds to our broader understanding of the nation's labor and economic history." Indiana Magazine of History "Solidly researched and eloquently written, Nelson's work will long occupy well-deserved status as a redefinition of traditional midwestern history." Illinois Historical Journal "The great strength of Nelson's book lies in its up-to-date synthesis of various social history literatures ... the study forms an exemplary American labor history." Michigan Historical Review "The writing is a model of clarity and economy; the examples are well chosen and the sources are complete. Nelson has presented a blueprint for a new way to think about and present labor history." Agricultural History "Farm and Factory deserves to take a place among the most respected books consulted by students of midwestern history" The Annals of Iowa
From the Back Cover
Farm and Factory illuminates the importance of the Midwest in U.S. labor history. America's heartland - often overlooked in studies focusing on other regions, or particular cities or industries - has a distinctive labor history characterized by the sustained, simultaneous growth of both agriculture and industry. Since the transfer of labor from farm to factory did not occur in the Midwest until after World War II, industrialists recruited workers elsewhere, especially from Europe and the American South. The region's relatively underdeveloped service sector - shaped by the presumption that goods were more desirable than service - ultimately led to agonizing problems of adjustment as agriculture and industry evolved in the late twentieth century.