cover of book

Disruption in Detroit: Autoworkers and the Elusive Postwar Boom
by Daniel J. Clark
University of Illinois Press, 2018
eISBN: 978-0-252-05075-6 | Cloth: 978-0-252-04201-0 | Paper: 978-0-252-08370-9
Library of Congress Classification HD8039.A82U632165 2018
Dewey Decimal Classification 331.881292220975

It is a bedrock American belief: the 1950s were a golden age of prosperity for autoworkers. Flush with high wages and enjoying the benefits of generous union contracts, these workers became the backbone of a thriving blue-collar middle class. It is also a myth. Daniel J. Clark began by interviewing dozens of former autoworkers in the Detroit area and found a different story--one of economic insecurity caused by frequent layoffs, unrealized contract provisions, and indispensable second jobs. Disruption in Detroit is a vivid portrait of workers and an industry that experienced anything but stable prosperity. As Clark reveals, the myths--whether of rising incomes or hard-nosed union bargaining success--came later. In the 1950s, ordinary autoworkers, union leaders, and auto company executives recognized that although jobs in their industry paid high wages, they were far from steady and often impossible to find.
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