Solidarity and Survival

Solidarity and Survival

An Oral History of Iowa Labor in the Twentieth Century

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"…absolutely terrific material, and the author has done a marvelous job of organizing and editing that material…There is a richness here that precious few books can approach."—Peter Rachleff

“All we needed was this little spark that says there’s hope. If you join up there’s hope.” —Don Harris, from an interview in Solidarity and Survival

“We were working men and women. Whenever you better conditions for one sex, especially if you’re working for the women, you automatically get it for men, too.” —Betty Talkington, from an interview in Solidarity and Survival

In Solidarity and Survival, three generations of Iowa workers tell of their unrelenting efforts to create a labor movement in the coal mines and on the rails, in packinghouses and farm equipment plants, on construction sites and in hospital wards. Drawing on nearly one thousand interviews collected over more than a decade by oral historians working for the Iowa Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO, Shelton Stromquist presents the resonant voices of the men and women who defined a new, prominent place for themselves in the lives of their communities and in the politics of their state.