cover of book

Sweet Tyranny: Migrant Labor, Industrial Agriculture, and Imperial Politics
by Kathleen Mapes
University of Illinois Press, 2008
Cloth: 978-0-252-03436-7 | Paper: 978-0-252-07667-1 | eISBN: 978-0-252-09180-3
Library of Congress Classification HD1527.M54M37 2009
Dewey Decimal Classification 331.5440977

In this innovative grassroots to global study, Kathleen Mapes explores how the sugar beet industry transformed the rural Midwest by introducing large factories, contract farming, and foreign migrant labor. Identifying rural areas as centers for modern American industrialism, Mapes contributes to an ongoing reorientation of labor history from urban factory workers to rural migrant workers. She engages with a full range of individuals, including Midwestern family farmers, industrialists, Eastern European and Mexican immigrants, child laborers, rural reformers, Washington politicos, and colonial interests. Engagingly written, Sweet Tyranny demonstrates that capitalism was not solely a force from above but was influenced by the people below who defended their interests in an ever-expanding imperialist market.

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