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Disruption in Detroit – Autoworkers and the Elusive Postwar Boom - Illinois Scholarship Online
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Disruption in Detroit: Autoworkers and the Elusive Postwar Boom

Daniel J Clark


It is conventional wisdom that because of lucrative contracts negotiated by the United Auto Workers (UAW) under Walter Reuther's leadership, most autoworkers in the U.S. enjoyed steady work, increasing wages, and improved benefits in the postwar boom following World War II. In short, autoworkers entered the middle class. In contrast, this book argues that for Detroit autoworkers there was no postwar boom. Instead, the years from 1945 to 1960 were dominated by job instability and economic insecurity. This argument is based largely on oral history interviews and research in local newspapers, ... More

Keywords: Detroit, autoworkers, postwar boom, UAW, Walter Reuther, layoffs, automation, decentralization, middle class, 1950s

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2018 Print ISBN-13: 9780252042010
Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: May 2019 DOI:10.5622/illinois/9780252042010.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Daniel J Clark, author
Oakland University