We are unable to process credit card payments for website orders at this time.

To place an order, you may proceed using a website gift card, or give us a call at 612-822-4611.

Thank you for your understanding, and we apologize for the inconvenience.
Unskilled Occupations
Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting by in America
Nickel and Dimed
On (Not) Getting by in America
Hardcover      ISBN: 0805063889

In an attempt to understand the lives of Americans earning near-minimum wages, Ehrenreich works as a waitress in Florida, a cleaning woman in Maine, and a sales clerk in Minnesota.

Common Labor: Workers and the Digging of North American Canals, 1780-1860
Common Labor
Workers and the Digging of North American Canals, 1780-1860
Paperback      ISBN: 0801855225

Canal construction played a significant role in the rise of industrial America opening up new markets, employing an army of workers, and initiating the ties between capital and government that remain important to this day. In this highly acclaimed study, Peter Way challenges conventional views of the part these workers played in the early republic and of the culture they created. Common Labour traces a dark picture of powerlessness, depravity, and rage in the lives of America's canal diggers.

Canal construction played a significant role in the rise of industrial America opening up new markets, employing an army of workers, and initiating the ties between capital and government that remain important to this day. The work went forward using simple tools and the brute strength of men and animals, with diggers working twelve-hour days and suffering the ravages of disease and injury. In this highly acclaimed study, Peter Way challenges conventional views of the part these workers played in the early republic and of the culture they created.

Increasingly made up of Irish immigrants, Way explains, the work force was housed in shanty towns hastily thrown up along the path of canal construction. Unlike the vibrant, proud working-class communities so beloved in labor history, these towns were the scene of considerable off-hours vice and violence. As wages fell throughout the 1830s, workers' discontent mounted to the point where riots were frequent and militia units often descended on the towns to enforce order. Common Labour traces a dark picture of powerlessness, depravity, and rage in the lives of America's canal diggers.

Common Labour: Workers and the Digging of North American Canals 1780-1860
Common Labour
Workers and the Digging of North American Canals 1780-1860
Paperback      ISBN: 0521102650

This study of canal construction workers between 1780-1860 challenges labor history's focus on skilled craftsmen. Canalers were unskilled workers, often members of despised social groups such as Irish immigrants and African-American slaves. They worked twelve or more hours a day in all weather, exposed to diseases and job-related risks, going home at night to rude shanty towns. Their harsh lifestyles bred conflict that undercut worker unity but promoted battles with employers over workplace issues, and the state was increasingly drawn in to enforce industrial production. Lacking the power that skill brought, canalers had little control over their working conditions. Their experiences represent a different strand of the labor story.