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Civic LaborsScholar Activism and Working-Class Studies$
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Dennis Deslippe, Eric Fure-Slocum, and John W. Mckerley

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780252040498

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252040498.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM ILLINOIS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.illinois.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Illinois University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ISO for personal use.date: 25 May 2022

Labor Historians and Traditions of Engaged Scholarship

Labor Historians and Traditions of Engaged Scholarship

Progressives, Insurgents, and the Making of a New Labor History

(p.11) Chapter 1 Labor Historians and Traditions of Engaged Scholarship
Civic Labors

Shelton Stromquist

University of Illinois Press

This chapter traces the history of the early paths of engaged scholarship blazed by progressive labor economists who, at some professional risk, gave birth to labor history as a serious field of inquiry and by the subsequent pioneering work of two labor historians and activists: E. P. Thompson and David Montgomery. Thompson and Montgomery not only reshaped the academic field but influenced subsequent generations of engaged scholars. Of particular importance were Thompson's and Montgomery's experiences outside of academia, notably in labor and left political circles. The chapter points out that the generation of labor historians following Thompson and Montgomery shared their attention to class, their affinity for grassroots activism, and their advocacy for participatory democracy. At the same time, the succeeding generations of scholars, responding to changed political and intellectual contexts, have pursued new forms of engagement.

Keywords:   engaged scholarship, progressive labor economists, labor history, E. P. Thompson, David Montgomery, engaged scholars, labor historians, class, grassroots activism, participatory democracy

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