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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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Remembering the 1911 General Transport Strike in Liverpool

Remembering the 1911 General Transport Strike in Liverpool

Chapter 6 Remembering the 1911 General Transport Strike in Liverpool
Civic Labors

Sam Davies

University of Illinois Press

This chapter discusses the efforts of academic historians and labor activists to remember and celebrate the centenary of the Liverpool Transport Strike of 1911, one of the most serious and prolonged disputes of Britain's pre-1914 labor unrest, and shows that using history to inform the contemporary labor movement can help to revitalize activism. The chapter first considers the commemoration of labor history anniversaries in the international context and explains why the events of 1911 have a special resonance for Liverpool. It then examines how new research undertaken to celebrate the centenary revitalized alliances between academics, trade unionists, and the public and galvanized the present-day labor movement. It also demonstrates the ways that contemporary events can serve to plug the past into the present to both educate and inspire, as well as the rewards that can be realized in terms of taking history beyond the academy and into the labor movement. Finally, it argues that progressives do not hold a monopoly on using the past to educate and inspire activism.

Keywords:   academic historians, labor activists, Liverpool Transport Strike, labor movement, activism, commemoration, labor history, centenary, trade unionists, progressives

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