Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book


Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Eric Arnesen  

Pen Name: None

Genre:

Born: in Brooklyn, New York

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Illinois Connection

Eric Arnesen is a Professor of History at the University of Illinois, Chicago Illinois campus.

Biographical and Professional Information

N/A


Published Works Expand for more information


Titles At Your Library

Waterfront Workers of New Orleans: Race, Class, and Politics, 1863-1923
ISBN: 0252063775

University of Illinois Press. 1994

Bridging the gaps between African-American and labor history, this compelling study focuses on ten thousand black and white riverfront workers in New Orleans, and class and race relations through the turbulent Civil War and Reconstruction years, the racially flexible 1880s, the racially violent 1890s, and the early twentieth century's age of segregation. Arnesen explores the role of black unions in the city's larger African-American social network

the connection between race relation and union work rules

the political culture that alternately encouraged and discouraged biracial collaboration

and the rise and fall of two biracial labor federations (the Cotton Men's Executive Council from 1880 to the early 1890s, and the Dock and Cotton Council from 1901 to 1923). A pragmatic response to the reality of a racially divided work force, biracial unionism provided a strong framework for mediating racial tensions and ensuring limited cooperation across racial lines. By the early twentieth century, New Orleans' waterfront workers had forged a powerful movement that violated the basic tenets of the segregationist era. This unique study will appeal to students and scholars of African-American, labor, social, southern, or urban history.

Labor Histories: Class, Politics, and the Working-Class Experience (Working Class in American History)
ISBN: 0252024079

University of Illinois Press. 1998

Is class outmoded as a basis for understanding labor history? This significant new collection emphatically says No! Touching on such subjects as migrant labor, religion, ethnicity, agricultural history, and gender, these thirteen essays by former students of David Montgomery -- a preeminent leader in labor circles as well as in academia -- demonstrate the sheer diversity of the field today.

Brotherhoods of Color: Black Railroad Workers and the Struggle for Equality
ISBN: 0674008170

Harvard University Press. 2002

From the time the first tracks were laid in the early nineteenth century, the railroad has occupied a crucial place in America's historical imagination. Now, for the first time, Eric Arnesen gives us an untold piece of that vital American institution―the story of African Americans on the railroad.

African Americans have been a part of the railroad from its inception, but today they are largely remembered as Pullman porters and track layers. The real history is far richer, a tale of endless struggle, perseverance, and partial victory. In a sweeping narrative, Arnesen re-creates the heroic efforts by black locomotive firemen, brakemen, porters, dining car waiters, and redcaps to fight a pervasive system of racism and job discrimination fostered by their employers, white co-workers, and the unions that legally represented them even while barring them from membership.

Decades before the rise of the modern civil rights movement in the mid-1950s, black railroaders forged their own brand of civil rights activism, organizing their own associations, challenging white trade unions, and pursuing legal redress through state and federal courts. In recapturing black railroaders' voices, aspirations, and challenges, Arnesen helps to recast the history of black protest and American labor in the twentieth century.

Black Protest and the Great Migration PUBLICATION CANCELLED: A Brief History with Documents
ISBN: 0312294611

Palgrave Macmillan. 2009

During World War I, as many as half a million southern African Americans permanently left the South to create new homes and lives in the urban North, and hundreds of thousands more would follow in the 1920s. This dramatic transformation in the lives of many black Americans involved more than geography: the increasingly visible “New Negro” and the intensification of grassroots black activism in the South as well as the North were the manifestations of a new challenge to racial subordination. Eric Arnesen’s unique collection of articles from a variety of northern, southern, black, and white newspapers, magazines, and books explores the “Great Migration,” focusing on the economic, social, and political conditions of the Jim Crow South, the meanings of race in general — and on labor in particular — in the urban North, the grassroots movements of social protest that flourished in the war years, and the postwar “racial counterrevolution.” An introduction by the editor, headnotes to documents, a chronology, questions for consideration, a bibliography, and an index are included.


Awards

-- In 2005, Eric Arnesen received the James Friend Memorial Award for Literary Criticism from the Society of Midland Authors for “distinguished literary criticism.”