Stephen H. Norwood, University of Oklahoma, will discuss his new book, Strikebreaking & Intimidation: Mercenaries and Masculinity in Twentieth-Century America (The University of North Carolina Press) on Wednesday, February 12, 5 p.m., at New York University’s Tamiment Library, 10th floor of the NYU Bobst Library, 70 Washington Square South. The event is free and open to the public; for further information contact Michael Nash (212/998-2428; MN46@nyu.edu).
Norwood’s book relates union busting to the new literature on masculinity. It describes the history of strikebreaking beginning with the infamous activities of the Baldwin-Felts Company and Ford’s “Service Department.” Other issues discussed are the use of college students as strikebreakers and the recent history of anti-unionism and the techniques employed by consulting firms who specialize in breaking strikes and unions.
Nelson Lichtenstein has called Norwood’s book “a refreshing and expansive probe into the mercenary underworld, heretofore the stuff of lore and legend. By opening our eyes to the culture, ideology, and techniques of early-twentieth-century strikebreaking, Norwood skillfully brings us back to a future with which we are again becoming woefully familiar.”
The Tamiment Library at NYU is an internationally known center for scholarly research on the history and culture of American activism and labor. Tamiment’s many collections document the history of the anarchist, communist, labor, radical, feminist and socialist movements in the U.S. from the Civil War to the present. In addition to housing over 25,000 books, 6,000 periodical titles, 300 manuscript collections, and 3,500 hours of audio tape, the Library has more than one million pamphlets, leaflets, clippings, and related collections of posters, graphics, videos, and artifacts.