Disruption in Detroit: Autoworkers and the Elusive Postwar Boom (Working Class in American History)

Disruption in Detroit: Autoworkers and the Elusive Postwar Boom (Working Class in American History)

English | September 15th, 2018 | ISBN: 0252042018, 0252083709 | 266 Pages | EPUB | 0.61 MB

It is a bedrock American belief: the 1950s were a golden age of prosperity for autoworkers. Flush with high wages and enjoying the benefits of generous union contracts, these workers became the backbone of a thriving blue-collar middle class. It is also a myth. Daniel J. Clark began by interviewing dozens of former autoworkers in the Detroit area and found a different story-one of economic insecurity caused by frequent layoffs, unrealized contract provisions, and indispensable second jobs. Disruption in Detroit is a vivid portrait of workers and an industry that experienced anything but stable prosperity.

As Clark reveals, the myths-whether of rising incomes or hard-nosed union bargaining success-came later. In the 1950s, ordinary autoworkers, union leaders, and auto company executives recognized that although jobs in their industry paid high wages, they were far from steady and often impossible to find.|

CoverTitleCopyrightContentsAcknowledgmentsIntroduction1. Shortages and Strikes, 1945-19482. The Era of "The Treaty of Detroit," 1949-19503. No Longer the Arsenal of Democracy, 1951-19524. A Post-Korean War Boom, 19535. A "Painfully Inconvenient" Recession, 19546. The Fifties in One Year, 19557. "A Severe and Prolonged Hangover," 1956-19578. The Nadir, 19589. "What IS happening? Which way ARE we headed?" 1959-1960ConclusionNotesSelected BibliographyIndex|

Daniel J. Clark is an associate professor of history at Oakland University, Michigan. He is the author of Like Night and Day: Unionization in a Southern Mill Town.

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