The Memorial Day Massacre and the Movement for Industrial Democracy: Chicago, Labor, and the Movement for Industrial Democracy by M. DennisThe Memorial Day Massacre and the Movement for Industrial Democracy: Chicago, Labor, and the Movement for Industrial Democracy by M. Dennis

The Memorial Day Massacre and the Movement for Industrial Democracy: Chicago, Labor, and the…

byM. Dennis

Hardcover | January 19, 2011

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It was one of the most remarkable events in the modern movement for American democracy, yet few know anything about it. Dubbed the Memorial Day “Massacre,” it saw the Chicago police shoot and kill 10 demonstrators and beat dozens as they tried to picket in front of the Republic Steel Plant in South Chicago. The protest grew out of the 1937 “Little Steel” strike, one of the most fractious labor disputes in the nation’s history. It was the culmination of a movement for industrial democracy that had its origins in the mills and the mines of Gilded Age America.    

Michael Dennis is a professor of history at Acadia University in Wolfville, Nova Scotia. He is the author of three books, including Luther P. Jackson and a Life for Civil Rights and The New Economy and the Modern South. He is also the author of several articles on topics ranging from Woodrow Wilson’s views on race to American youth ac...
Title:The Memorial Day Massacre and the Movement for Industrial Democracy: Chicago, Labor, and the…Format:HardcoverDimensions:288 pagesPublished:January 19, 2011Publisher:Palgrave Macmillan USLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0230618219

ISBN - 13:9780230618213


Table of Contents

Introduction * Fire and Steel in South Chicago * Crisis Delayed: The 1920s in Chicago and America * Out of Despair, Ferment: Upheaval in the 1930s * Mailed Fists and Velvet Gloves in the Struggle for Steel * Loading the Charge: The Steel Workers Organize * Irresistible Forces: The Test of Mettle at Republic Steel * “Trouble is Certain to Follow”: the Coming Conflict * A Sunday to Remember in South Chicago * Counter-Revolution: The Campaign against Industrial Democracy * “A Major Breakdown of Democratic Government” * “Ruthlessness and Disregard for the Law”: After the Massacre * “The Day is Coming…”: Echoes from the Little Steel Struggle

Editorial Reviews

"Dennis synthesizes primary sources with secondary works in social and labor history and frames the narrative in a radical, timely, and accessible way. This is a good work of scholarship." - American Historical Review "Michael Dennis has produced a useful study of the critical May 1937 'little steel' strike. Dennis utilizes labor and police records to describe the national, local, and neighborhood contexts for the police assault that killed ten workers and injured scores of others in Chicago. This is a book that historians of Chicago, civil liberties, the steel industry, the Congress of Industrial Organizations, and industrial unionism will consult in the future." - The Journal of American History "Excellent ... a valuable contribution to labor history." - American Communist History "Michael Dennis's exploration of the events and meaning of the 1937 Memorial Day Massacre in the Chicago Little Steel strike combines a stirring narrative account of a terrible day in the history of industrial conflict with a compelling argument for the radical potential of the quest for a democratic workplace in New Deal America." - Maurice Isserman, James L. Ferguson Professor of History, Hamilton College, and author of Which Side Were You On?: The American Communist Party During the Second World War "Michael Dennis has placed a landmark event in US history into its broader social and political context as a turning point in the long struggle to inject an element of democracy into American industry.In the process, he places in a new light the Memorial Day Massacre, an experience often invoked but just as often misunderstood." - James R. Barrett, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign "In this rich and highly readableaccount, Michael Dennis casts new light onone of theepicmomentsin U.S. labor history. Dennisbrilliantly retrievesthe struggle for human rights and industrial democracythat guided the hearts and hands of the working class actors in the story. The movement was put down by violence, and the steel mills are long gone, butDennisshows whythese workersleft a legacy that is still very relevant today." - Rosemary Feurer, author of Radical Unionism in the Midwest, 1900-1950