We have changed our privacy policy. In addition, we use cookies on our website for various purposes. By continuing on our website, you consent to our use of cookies. You can learn about our practices by reading our privacy policy.
© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.

History of Labor Unions Books

Roy Rozenweig and Steve Brier, Who Built America (1992)

This is a good place to start. The two long books cover a lot of territory, but they succeed in putting labor history in context. Not a book to read straight through as much as a reference to investigate eras and concepts. Well-written, accessible, and it has pictures.

Rick Fantasia, Hard Work: Remaking the American Labor Movement (2004)

This account deals with the decline of unions. Starting with a chapter on "why labor matters," Fantasia takes a thoughtful look at labor's current dilemma with a glance back at history. Not easy reading, but worth the effort.

Philip M. Dine, State of the Unions: How Labor Can Strengthen the Middle Class, Improve Our Economy, and Regain Political Influence (2007)

Dine, who brings a clear pro-union agenda to his work, uses vivid contemporary examples to provide an overview of the labor movement and suggest ways for unions to regain influence.

Jim Haskins, The Long Struggle: The Story of American Labor (1976)

A thorough, easy-to-read overview, particularly of the early labor movement.

Nelson Lichtenstein, State of the Union: A Century of American Labor (2002)

This is a fine examination of labor history beginning in the 1930s. The author gives a balanced view of the shifting influence of labor and management.

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...