Trucking Country

Author: Shane Hamilton
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9781400828791
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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Trucking Country is a social history of long-haul trucking that explores the contentious politics of free-market capitalism in post-World War II America. Shane Hamilton paints an eye-opening portrait of the rural highways of the American heartland, and in doing so explains why working-class populist voters are drawn to conservative politicians who seemingly don't represent their financial interests. Hamilton challenges the popular notion of "red state" conservatism as a devil's bargain between culturally conservative rural workers and economically conservative demagogues in the Republican Party. The roots of rural conservatism, Hamilton demonstrates, took hold long before the culture wars and free-market fanaticism of the 1990s. As Hamilton shows, truckers helped build an economic order that brought low-priced consumer goods to a greater number of Americans. They piloted the big rigs that linked America's factory farms and agribusiness food processors to suburban supermarkets across the country. Trucking Country is the gripping account of truckers whose support of post-New Deal free enterprise was so virulent that it sparked violent highway blockades in the 1970s. It's the story of "bandit" drivers who inspired country songwriters and Hollywood filmmakers to celebrate the "last American cowboy," and of ordinary blue-collar workers who helped make possible the deregulatory policies of Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan and set the stage for Wal-Mart to become America's most powerful corporation in today's low-price, low-wage economy. Some images inside the book are unavailable due to digital copyright restrictions.

Asphalt and Politics

Author: Thomas L. Karnes
Publisher: McFarland
ISBN: 0786454679
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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From animal paths to superhighways, transportation has been the backbone of American expansion and growth. This examination of the interstate highway system in the United States, and the forces that shaped it, includes the introduction of the automobile, the Good Roads Movement, and the Lincoln Highway Association. The book offers an analysis of state and federal road funding, modern road-building options, and the successes and failures of the current highway system. Instructors considering this book for use in a course may request an examination copy here.

State of the Union

Author: Nelson Lichtenstein
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400848148
Format: PDF, Kindle
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In a fresh and timely reinterpretation, Nelson Lichtenstein examines how trade unionism has waxed and waned in the nation's political and moral imagination, among both devoted partisans and intransigent foes. From the steel foundry to the burger-grill, from Woodrow Wilson to John Sweeney, from Homestead to Pittston, Lichtenstein weaves together a compelling matrix of ideas, stories, strikes, laws, and people in a streamlined narrative of work and labor in the twentieth century. The "labor question" became a burning issue during the Progressive Era because its solution seemed essential to the survival of American democracy itself. Beginning there, Lichtenstein takes us all the way to the organizing fever of contemporary Los Angeles, where the labor movement stands at the center of the effort to transform millions of new immigrants into alert citizen unionists. He offers an expansive survey of labor's upsurge during the 1930s, when the New Deal put a white, male version of industrial democracy at the heart of U.S. political culture. He debunks the myth of a postwar "management-labor accord" by showing that there was (at most) a limited, unstable truce. Lichtenstein argues that the ideas that had once sustained solidarity and citizenship in the world of work underwent a radical transformation when the rights-centered social movements of the 1960s and 1970s captured the nation's moral imagination. The labor movement was therefore tragically unprepared for the years of Reagan and Clinton: although technological change and a new era of global economics battered the unions, their real failure was one of ideas and political will. Throughout, Lichtenstein argues that labor's most important function, in theory if not always in practice, has been the vitalization of a democratic ethos, at work and in the larger society. To the extent that the unions fuse their purpose with that impulse, they can once again become central to the fate of the republic. State of the Union is an incisive history that tells the story of one of America's defining aspirations. This edition includes a new preface in which Lichtenstein engages with many of those who have offered commentary on State of the Union and evaluates the historical literature that has emerged in the decade since the book's initial publication. He also brings his narrative into the current moment with a final chapter, "Obama's America: Liberalism without Unions."

The Routledge History of American Foodways

Author: Jennifer Jensen Wallach
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317975227
Format: PDF, ePub
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The Routledge History of American Foodways provides an important overview of the main themes surrounding the history of food in the Americas from the pre-colonial era to the present day. By broadly incorporating the latest food studies research, the book explores the major advances that have taken place in the past few decades in this crucial field. The volume is composed of four parts. The first part explores the significant developments in US food history in one of five time periods to situate the topical and thematic chapters to follow. The second part examines the key ingredients in the American diet throughout time, allowing authors to analyze many of these foods as items that originated in or dramatically impacted the Americas as a whole, and not just the United States. The third part focuses on how these ingredients have been transformed into foods identified with the American diet, and on how Americans have produced and presented these foods over the last four centuries. The final section explores how food practices are a means of embodying ideas about identity, showing how food choices, preferences, and stereotypes have been used to create and maintain ideas of difference. Including essays on all the key topics and issues, The Routledge History of American Foodways comprises work from a leading group of scholars and presents a comprehensive survey of the current state of the field. It will be essential reading for all those interested in the history of food in American culture.

To Serve God and Wal Mart

Author: Bethany Moreton
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 0674054296
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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This extraordinary biography of Wal-Mart's world shows how a Christian pro-business movement grew from the bottom up as well as the top down, bolstering an economic vision that sanctifies corporate globalization.

The American Way of Eating

Author: Tracie McMillan
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 1439171955
Format: PDF, ePub
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An award-winning journalist traces her 2009 immersion into the national food system to explore issues about how working-class Americans can afford to eat as they should, describing how she worked as a farm laborer, Wal-Mart grocery clerk and Applebee's expediter while living within the means of each job. 25,000 first printing.

Sweatshops on Wheels

Author: Michael H. Belzer
Publisher: Oxford University Press on Demand
ISBN: 9780195128864
Format: PDF, Docs
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Written by a former long-haul trucker who now teaches industrial relations, this book raises crucial questions about the legacy of trucking deregulation in America and casts provocative new light on the issue of government deregulation in general.

Trams Or Tailfins

Author: Jan L. Logemann
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226491498
Format: PDF, Kindle
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In the years that followed World War II, both the United States and the newly formed West German republic had an opportunity to remake their economies. Since then, much has been made of a supposed “Americanization” of European consumer societies—in Germany and elsewhere. Arguing against these foggy notions, Jan L. Logemann takes a comparative look at the development of postwar mass consumption in West Germany and the United States and the emergence of discrete consumer modernities. In Trams or Tailfins?, Logemann explains how the decisions made at this crucial time helped to define both of these economic superpowers in the second half of the twentieth century. While Americans splurged on private cars and bought goods on credit in suburban shopping malls, Germans rebuilt public transit and developed pedestrian shopping streets in their city centers—choices that continue to shape the quality and character of life decades later. Outlining the abundant differences in the structures of consumer society, consumer habits, and the role of public consumption in these countries, Logemann reveals the many subtle ways that the spheres of government, society, and physical space define how we live.

The Big Rig

Author: Steve Viscelli
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 0520962710
Format: PDF, ePub
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Long-haul trucks have been described as sweatshops on wheels. The typical long-haul trucker works the equivalent of two full-time jobs, often for little more than minimum wage. But it wasn’t always this way. Trucking used to be one of the best working-class jobs in the United States. The Big Rig explains how this massive degradation in the quality of work has occurred, and how companies achieve a compliant and dedicated workforce despite it. Drawing on more than 100 in-depth interviews and years of extensive observation, including six months training and working as a long-haul trucker, Viscelli explains in detail how labor is recruited, trained, and used in the industry. He then shows how inexperienced workers are convinced to lease a truck and to work as independent contractors. He explains how deregulation and collective action by employers transformed trucking’s labor markets--once dominated by the largest and most powerful union in US history--into an important example of the costs of contemporary labor markets for workers and the general public.

The United States of Wal Mart

Author: John Dicker
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 1101143444
Format: PDF, Mobi
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An irreverent, hard-hitting examination of the world's largest-and most reviled-corporation, which reveals that while Wal-Mart's dominance may be providing consumers with cheap goods and plentiful jobs, it may also be breeding a culture of discontent. It employs one of every 115 American workers. If it were a nation-state, it would be one of the world's top twenty economies. With yearly sales of nearly $260 billion and an average way of $8 an hour, Wal-Mart represents an unprecedented-and perhaps unstoppable-force in capitalism. And there have been few corporations that have evoked the same levels of reverence and ire. The United States of Wal-Mart is a hard-hitting examination of how Sam Walton's empire has infiltrated not just the geography of America but also its consciousness. Peeling away layers of propaganda and politics, investigative journalist John Dicker reveals an American (and, increasingly, a global) story that has no clear-cut villains or heroes-one that could be the confused, complicated story of America itself. Pitched battles between economic progress and quality of life, between the preservation of regional identity and national homogeneity, and between low prices and the dignity of the American worker are beginning to coalesce into an all-out war to define our modern era. And, Dicker argues, Wal-Mart is winning. Revealing that the company's business practices have been shaping American culture, including the nation's social, political, and industrial policy, The United States of Wal-Mart provides fresh insight into a controversy that isn't going away.