ABOUT THIS BOOK
"'Boomer' railroad men have a cherished place in the popular imagination. Although the romance of their vocations and the itinerancy of their lives have been exaggerated, the term ‘Boomer' fittingly characterizes a significant portion of the generation of workers that built and operated the railroads during the expansive years of the late nineteenth century. There are numerous excellent accounts of the major railroad strikes for this period. There is also a rich literature of local studies that focus primarily on changes in working class culture and community in a variety of industrial settings. But we lack a framework for integrating the local analysis of social and cultural patterns with changes in the political economy of nineteenth-century American capitalism, and we lack an analysis of strikes that locates episodes within broader patterns of emerging class conflict. This volume is an attempt to build such a larger framework."