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Out of Work : First Century of Unemployment in Massachusetts

Out of Work : First Century of Unemployment in Massachusetts - 86 edition

ISBN13: 978-0521297677

Cover of Out of Work : First Century of Unemployment in Massachusetts 86 (ISBN 978-0521297677)
ISBN13: 978-0521297677
ISBN10: 0521297672
Cover type:
Edition/Copyright: 86
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Published: 1986
International: No

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Out of Work : First Century of Unemployment in Massachusetts - 86 edition

ISBN13: 978-0521297677

Alexander Keyssar

ISBN13: 978-0521297677
ISBN10: 0521297672
Cover type:
Edition/Copyright: 86
Publisher: Cambridge University Press

Published: 1986
International: No
Summary

Out of Work, the first book to chronicle the history of unemployment in the United States traces the evolution of the problem of joblessness from the early decades of the nineteenth century to the Great Depression of the 1930s. Challenging the widely held notion that the United States was a labour-scarce society in which jobs were plentiful, it argues that unemployment played a major role in American history long before the crash of the stock market in 1929. Focusing on the state of Massachusetts, Professor Kevssar analyses the economic and social changes that gave birth to the modern concept of unemployment. Drawing on previously untapped sources - including richly detailed statistics and vivid verbatim testimony - he demonstrates that joblessness was a pervasive feature of working-class life from the 1870s to the 1920s. The book describes the ingenious, yet personally costly, strategies that unemployed workers devised to cope with the joblessness in the absence of formal governmental assistance. It also explores the many dimensions of working-class life that were profoundly affected by recurrent lay-offs and the chronic uncertainty of work. Finally, it demonstrates that the fundamental contours of the Massachusetts experience were repeated, sooner or later, throughout the United States.

Table of Contents

List of illustrations and tables

Preface

1. Introduction

2. The social origins of unemployment

3. The era of uncertainty

4. Sharing the burden

5. From place to place

6. Coping

7. Organizing labor

8. From the Common to the State House

9. 'The greatest evil of our competitive industrial system'

10. Epilogue

Appendices

Notes

Index.

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