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Good, Reliable, White Men: Railroad Brotherhoods, 1877 - 1917 cloth
Paul Michel Taillon
Illinois U Press
ISBN or Item #
Date Listed:
2010-02-01 15:34:14
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Good, Reliable, White Men

Railroad Brotherhoods, 1877 - 1917

by Paul Michel Taillon.

Cloth (no dust jacket) (also available softcover), 6x9, 296 pages, 10 b/w photos, notes, index.

"Railroad brotherhoods' dynamic impact on American labor relations and national politics

"This engaging study provides an account of the independent railroad brotherhoods from the period of their formation in the 1860s and '70s to the consolidation of their power on the eve of World War I. By commanding the attention of U.S. presidents and establishing the eight-hour workday, railroad brotherhoods employed responsible trade unionism to their advantage. Paul Michel Taillon focuses on the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers, the Order of Railway Conductors, the Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen, and the Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen to investigate the impact of these unions on early twentieth-century politics and society.

"Notorious for their conservative bent and exclusiveness based on race and trade, the unions also demonstrated a capacity for change and a particular acumen for negotiating in political and public circles, all but guaranteeing brotherhood survival. In highlighting the successes and failures of these railroad unions, Taillon shows how they employed capitalist principles; how they were influenced by considerations of gender, race, and class; and how they prompted momentous debates about the proper relationships among government, private enterprise, labor, and management.

"In this excellent study of a neglected topic, Taillon provides a vivid picture of the cultural and political lives of railroad trade union members. The book shows how the running trades progressed from labor organizations stressing fraternalism and mutual aid to sophisticated and aggressive trade unions."--Colin Davis, author of Waterfront Revolts: New York and London Dockworkers, 1946-61

"Paul Michel Taillon is a senior lecturer in the History Department at the University of Auckland, New Zealand."