The first major volume to place U.S.-centered labor history in a transnational focus, Workers Across the Americas collects the newest scholarship of Canadianist, Caribbeanist, and Latin American specialists as well as U.S. historians. These essays highlight both the supra- and sub-national aspect of selected topics without neglecting nation-states themselves as historical forces. Indeed, the transnational focus opens new avenues for understanding changes in the concepts, policies, and practice of states, their interactions with each other and their populations, and the ways in which the popular classes resist, react, and advance their interests. What does this transnational turn encompass? And what are its likely perils as well as promise as a framework for research and analysis? To address these questions John French, Julie Greene, Neville Kirk, Aviva Chomsky, Dirk Hoerder, and Vic Satzewich lead off the volume with critical commentaries on the project of transnational labor history. Their responses offer a tour of explanations, tensions, and cautions in the evolution of a new arena of research and writing. Thereafter, Workers Across the Americas groups fifteen research essays around themes of labor and empire, indigenous peoples and labor systems, international feminism and reproductive labor, labor recruitment and immigration control, transnational labor politics, and labor internationalism. Topics range from military labor in the British Empire to coffee workers on the Guatemalan/Mexican border to the role of the International Labor Organization in attempting to set common labor standards. Leading scholars introduce each section and recommend further reading.
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