Southern Workers and the Search for Community Spartanburg County, South Carolina
- List Price: $55.00
- Binding: Hardcover
- Publisher: Univ of Illinois Pr
- Publish date: 09/01/2000
Waldrep shows how unions fed into a social vision of mutuality, equality, and interdependency already established in mill villages. This powerful sense of community, however, ultimately rested on sand. Because the villages themselves were the property of management, any labor conflict involved not only issues of wages, hours, and working conditions inside the mill but also virtually every other aspect of life. Most important, the mill owners held the trump card of eviction.
Beautifully written and persuasively argued, Waldrep's book looks beyond official versions of union activity in Spartanburg County to reinterpret the periods of "quiescence" that have long puzzled historians. Documenting the high stakes of labor protest in mill villages, Waldrep shows how the erosion or outright destruction of community systematically undermined the ability of workers to respond to the assaults of employers overwhelmingly supported by government agencies and agents.